Las Vegas Sands Initiates Campaign to Bring Casino Gambling to Texas

Las Vegas Sands, after acquiring a major stake in the Dallas Mavericks in December 2023, has initiated a campaign to legalize casino gambling in Texas. This effort aligns with the objectives of the Texas Destination Resort Alliance, a group formed in 2021 to promote the introduction of luxury resorts, entertainment venues, and fine dining through the legalization of casino-style gambling in the state.

The company’s push to change Texas’ gambling regulations gained traction in 2022 with the creation of the Texas Sands political action committee (PAC), which allocated $2 million towards lobbying efforts to legalize casino gambling. To legalize gambling in Texas, an amendment to the state constitution is required, necessitating a two-thirds majority approval in both the House and Senate, followed by a public vote.

Despite challenges, particularly skepticism from Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick regarding the bill’s ability to win enough Republican support in the state Senate, Miriam Adelson, representing Las Vegas Sands, remains hopeful about bringing casino gambling to Texas.

A big step toward this goal came when State Representative Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) introduced HJR 97 in February. This legislation proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution to allow for casino resorts, paving the way for potential changes to state gambling laws.

The push for legalizing gambling in Texas has also seen support from other stakeholders, including the Chickasaw Nation, which operates the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma and owns Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. The anticipated opening of the Choctaw Landing Casino and Resort in southeast Oklahoma further fuels the conversation around gambling legislation in Texas.

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Additionally, there’s movement towards legalizing sports betting, supported by the Texas Sports Betting Alliance. Prominent figures like former Governor Rick Perry have thrown their weight behind this initiative. Bills from Texas Senator Lois Kolkhorst and Representative Jeff Leach have gained traction, with support from individuals such as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Jones has spoken about the benefits of regulated gambling, stating it offers Texans the choice to regulate this activity or let it continue under less oversight by out-of-state platforms.

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