TXDRA Supports Legislation Filed to Allow Voters to Decide on Casino Gaming

AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Destination Resort Alliance (TXDRA) today announced its full support for House Joint Resolution (HJR) 97, a bill filed by Texas State Representative Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) to authorize casino gaming at a limited number of destination resorts across the state. If passed by the legislature, Texans will have the opportunity to vote on this constitutional amendment in November 2023.

“The Texas Destination Resort Alliance is proud to support State Representative Geren’s legislation,” said Matt Hirsch, a spokesperson for the Association. “Texans spend billions of dollars each year in neighboring states that have casino gaming, money that should benefit the people of Texas. These destination resorts will bring massive economic benefits to the state, including tens of thousands of jobs. We look forward to working alongside the Texas legislature and ultimately gaining the support of Texans to make destination resorts a reality.”

Bringing world-class resorts to Texas would lead to massive job creation for the state: more than 120,000 construction-related jobs and more than 75,000 permanent jobs once they are fully up and running. Additionally, increased tourism from resorts would usher in billions of dollars in tax revenue to state and local governments, which can be used for tax relief, public safety, infrastructure, education and more.

Alliance officials also emphasized the importance of this new approach and the private investment that the legislation will spark in the current economic environment.

“Texas has a proud record of leading the rest of the nation on the economic front because of our can-do spirit, long history of being bold and making sure we help and not hinder private investment,” said Hirsch. “Representative Geren’s HJR 97 is just the latest and greatest example of that.”

These destination resorts will include state-of-the-art entertainment complexes, four- or five-star hotels, substantial convention and meeting spaces, casino gaming, live performance and entertainment venues, destination retail shopping, nightclubs, world-class spas and a wide range of restaurants.

Other components of the legislation filed today include:

  • Requires applicants to make minimum investments between $250 million and $2 billion depending on the location, as well as demonstrate integrity, experience in casino and resort management and adequate financial capability
  • Utilizes existing parimutuel racing licenses to allow more immediate development of destination resorts to quickly realize the related job growth and economic development
  • Requires participation and competition between multiple license holders
  • No state or local public money or tax incentives of any kind may be used for the development or operation of destination resorts
  • Authorizes sports wagering only in a place and manner approved by the legislature
  • Provides for the support and revitalization of the horse racing industry and related agribusiness in the state

The legislature will develop additional requirements for applicants to receive and hold a casino license.