Texas Legislature Set to See Bills for Casino Gambling and Sports Betting Legalized
Lawmakers legalizing gambling by handing in the choice to the voters is still a distant dream for Texas.
This is despite the endeavors by the dozen lobbyists and pro teams. Dallas is still ruling the game, being the most sought-after casino destination resort. John Kuempel, the GOP Representative, stated how this session didn’t have adequate time for the bill to have been passed.
Not even a single bill made past the first hurdle for Texas gaming expansion, with barely a month left for the legislative session to begin.
A two-thirds vote by the lawmakers coupled with the support of a majority of the voters needed the legislation to become a law. This is since most gambling activities are banned by the Texas Constitution.
Kuempel stated how this session was different since there was an absence of a political appetite in passing the bills. One that stemmed from the loopholes in the budget that the lawmakers forecasted was going to be insubstantial in comparison to previous expectations; one they were so desperate to fill in through revenues from gambling activities.
However, a democrat Sen. Carol Alvarado and Kuempel, who are partners in this effort, felt momentum to be on their side. Having filed one or the other kind of legislation for a decade, Alvarado was more optimistic than ever. He was quoted saying to the Dallas Morning News that the attempts were for a much longer-term.
There were two major agendas of the bills being vouched by Alvarado and Kuempel.
The bills would have seen the expansion of three of the Indian tribes being federally recognized to full-fledged gambling zones. These zones would have included slot machines right on their territory.
Multiple sports franchises were rooting and demonstrating their support for the legalization of sports betting. The bill would have given approval to two-thirds of its lawmakers in allowing the states to sell permits.
There is still a flicker of hope, with several members of the Sports Betting Alliance ruling out the stalling. These include the Dallas pro teams, Mavericks, The Cowboys as well as Texas Rangers, who are hopeful of getting a committee vote on a resolution to regulate offshore sports betting apps that don’t provide consumer protections.