Texas Representative Introduces Casino Legislation

Summary: A representative for the state of Texas has introduced new legislation that would create 12 destination resorts.

While many states offer casino gaming, there are still some in the United States that shy away from the activity. Texas is one such state, not home to traditional casino gaming. One representative would like to see that change. State Representative Roland Gutierrez has introduced House Bill 3043, a measure that would see 12 destination resorts created in Texas.

New Legislation

Texas CasinosAccording to Gutierrez, House Bill 3043 would bring commercial casino gaming to Texas. According to the Rep. the state has to change and lawmakers are open to gaming discussions. The request is not for casinos on every corner, but to see the state become involved in the industry.

Gutierrez has stated that Texas is currently losing out on billions as neighboring states offer full-scale gambling and residents of the state are taking advantage of slot and table gaming. Players from Texas can easily visit Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma to take part in tribal and/or commercial casino offerings. Arkansas just recently approved commercial casino gaming.

Texas does have one casino that is operated by the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle, but the vast square footage of the state makes the venue far away from most consumers. With his bill, Gutierrez would make casino gaming more accessible in all areas of the state.

Legislation Specifics

House Bill 3043 does not list specifics, such as how much a license would cost. However, it does set the Texas Lottery Commission as the one in charge of the new industry. They would set the price points for fees in order to cover the costs to the state for the administration of casino gaming.

Revenues from license cost, the renewal of licensing and taxes would go towards the general revenue fund. It could then be used from there for whatever is deemed necessary. Gutierrez would like to see gaming used as a way to bring new revenues to the state instead of relying on other means such as raising the property tax paid by residents of the state.

If the bill were to pass into law, it would have to still go through a voter referendum process. Voters would have to choose if they want to see a casino created in their community. However, the bill would first have to be signed by Governor Greg Abbott. In the past, Abbott has stated his opposition of casino gaming, so he might not be willing to approve such legislation.

For now, the legislation will have to be considered and go through the process of moving forward. Gutierrez is hopeful that the bill will be accepted by his fellow lawmakers. If Texas is to stay competitive with their neighbors, they will have to offer some form of gambling aside from the slim pickings they already provide.

Most states are looking at gambling in some form or fashion to be able to create revenues needed for education, funding road work, senior care and other programs. Millions of dollars stand to be gained and states that have budget shortfalls can certainly stand to gain by having the extra income.