ICYMI: Dallas Morning News: Texas House Speaker open to bringing destination-style casinos into the state
AUSTIN – Texas Destination Resort Alliance spokesperson Matt Hirsch today released the following statement in response to comments made by Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan on bringing destination resorts to Texas:
“We agree wholeheartedly with Speaker Phelan that Texans should have the right to vote on bringing destination resorts with casinos to Texas. The vision our coalition has outlined for destination resorts would feature state-of-the-art entertainment complexes, four to five-star hotel accommodations, convention and meeting space, world-class shopping, spas, and a range of restaurants. We thank the members of the legislature who have already expressed their support for destination resorts, and we look forward to continuing to work with the legislature this session to make this vision a reality in Texas.”
Texas House Speaker open to bringing destination-style casinos into the state
House Speaker Dade Phelan said he would want to see destination casinos that “are high quality and that create jobs and that improve the lifestyle of those communities.”
By Allie Morris
January 12, 2023
Dallas Morning News
House Speaker Dade Phelan is open to bringing resort-style casinos to Texas.
In a brief interview with reporters on Thursday, the Beaumont Republican said he believes voters would approve the constitutional amendment needed to expand gambling in the state.
“What I don’t want to see is to walk into every convenience store and see 15 slot machines,” Phelan said. “I want to see destination-style casinos that are high quality and that create jobs and that improve the lifestyle of those communities.”
He described resorts equipped with golf courses, hotels and concert venues that are “major economic providers.”
Once a firm opponent, Gov. Greg Abbott last fall said he would consider expanded casino gambling with the right proposal. A spokesperson told The Houston Chronicle that Abbott doesn’t want slot machines on every corner, but “if there is a way to create a very professional entertainment option for Texans, Gov. Abbott would take a look at it.”
Last session, representatives for Las Vegas Sands said the Dallas-Fort Worth area would be the top target location for a casino resort if gambling was legalized because of its strong convention and tourism industry and proximity to airports.
Phelan, who lives a “stone’s throw” away from casino gambling in Louisiana, said the expansion is not about revenue, which he described as not a lot in the grand scheme of the state budget.
“This is about what the voters want,” he said. “I think that the average voter would approve that in this day and age and that has changed over the last 20 years.”