Casino Gambling Legalization Continues to Divide Texas Politicians

Published: January 26, 2022 at 03:03 am.

Last update: January 26, 2022, 03:42 PM.

Final debate between Republican candidates vying for 122 Texas statessecond abbreviation The home seat legalization of commercial gambling appears a controversial issue. Politicians offered conflicting positions during the San Antonio Forum.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick
Pictured above is Lieutenant Governor of Texas Dan Patrick. The Republican still opposes commercial casino gambling in the state. (picture; Texas Tribune)

Four nominees — Adam Blanchard, Elisa Chan, Mark Cuthbert and Mark Dorazio — participated in the forum sponsored by the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce last week. Current Representative Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) is not a candidate for re-election.

San Antonio is one of four communities in Texas where advocates of gambling expansion wanted, during the last legislative session, to place commercial gaming property. Other cities are: Dallas, Houston and Austin.

Cuthbert, a financial services executive, wants Texans to vote on the issue in a referendum.

People should be “free to engage in the fun and how they spend their money,” San Antonio report, a local news organization, citing Cuthbert. But he added that he was “in a deep and deep struggle” over the issue.

The strongest support for casinos came from Blanchard, a business owner. He noted how tax dollars are now getting out of the state into neighboring regions through legitimate gambling.

If we have the means to build other revenue streams that can help us combat this property tax problem, why not do it? “ The newspaper quotes Blanchard Transfer.

Other business owners who ran for the seat sounded more skeptical. Dorazio asked, ‘What is the true cost of the advantage we must suffer for someone who has a son-in-law – like me – who is addicted to [gambling] He lost his family? ” a

Chan also said the case should be considered.

Commercial casino gambling cannot be made legal in Texas without the support of at least two-thirds of the Texas House members and two-thirds of the Texas Senate. That would send it to a popular vote.

popular opinion

As of January 2021, a University of Houston Hobby poll found that 58 percent of Texans would prefer to allow full casino gambling in Texas. Another 18 percent support a limited expansion of gambling in the state’s three Indian reservations and on existing horse and dog tracks.

In addition, Las Vegas Sands supports the expansion of Texas gambling. The company lobbied for pro-gaming legislation.

When asked by Mark B. Jones, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, predicted this on Tuesday, when asked about the issue That “legalizing gambling will remain a problem in Texas politics until such time as casino gambling is legalized.”

political risk

“However, a third of Texas Republicans want to leave gambling laws as they are (or reverse them), and even pragmatic Texas Republicans have some concern that if they vote for casino gambling, the vote could be possible,” Jones said.

Jones adds that many Republicans oppose the expansion of casino gaming in Texas on principled grounds. Jones explained that they consider gambling to be a sin or a contributor to social and economic problems.

In addition, Governor Greg Abbott and First Lieutenant Dan Patrick, both Republicans, “remain strongly against” casino gambling, Jones said. “If Patrick, in particular, doesn’t support a bill, the odds of it getting to the floor of the Texas Senate for a vote, let alone getting the required two-thirds majority, are as close to zero as you can get it without being less than zero.” Both Abbott and Patrick are likely to win re-election in November.

Thus, with the exception of a budget crisis of epic proportions over the next four years, all indications today are that casino gambling legislation is still dead by the time it reaches Austin.” Jones said.

But Clyde Barrow, a professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, said That the Texas legislature would return to regular session in January 2023. “At that time, I expect casino legalization to be back on the table,” he said.

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