Texas Close to Legalizing Casinos, Up Next Sports Betting

Texas Close to Legalizing Casinos, Up Next Sports Betting

Texas Casino

The legislature of Texas is getting ready to vote on Senate Joint Resolution 17, a proposed piece of legislation that, if passed, would legalize casino gambling in a select number of sites while laying the groundwork for the legalization of sports betting.

With the passage of this new bill, the groundwork would be laid for the establishment of the Texas Gaming Commission. 

The new agency would oversee legally sanctioned gambling in the state, which honors its “Wild West” traditions by continuing to hold festivals and other events.

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What Would Be Included in the Bill

In the beginning, state senator Carol Alvarado filed the amendment in advance back in November of last year. 

However, the number of licenses that would be granted to operators in Texas as well as the type of licenses that would be granted, are both mentioned in the bill. At the moment, the bill does not make it clear how much the licensing fees will be.

There are a total of four destination resorts in the state that are located in metropolitan regions, and each of these resorts would be eligible to submit an application for a Class I license. 

However, the respective cities must have a population of at least two million people and must not already be home to an operationally licensed Class I casino operator in order to qualify for this opportunity.

Providing Funds for the Programs Once the Bill is Already Passed

The money made from this would be used to lower taxes, as well as provide funds for programs that promote public safety and education. The percentage of a casino’s gross gaming revenue that will be subject to taxation is anticipated to be 25% for slot machines and 10% for table games.

In the event that the bill is approved, three Class II licenses for “limited casino gambling” will become available to operators who are interested in providing options for horse racing in large metropolitan areas. 

These licenses will be available if the bill is passed. These licenses are going to be given to operators who have already held a pari-mutuel wagering license in the past. 

The acquisition of two Class III licenses will enable operators to provide a restricted range of betting options for greyhound racing.

Adaptations for the Operators of Tribal Casinos

Under the terms of the statute that is currently in effect on the federal level, only a select group of three tribal entities are permitted to operate casinos. 

The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, the Naskila Gaming in Livingston, and the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso are all included on this list.

On the other hand, the newly proposed amendment to the state constitution would require Indian casinos to pay an increased proportion of their earnings in the form of taxes. 

The same tribal operators would also be required to comply with all state regulations relating to federal legislation if they did not have a valid gaming agreement or if the bill passes as is.

In order for the newly proposed legislation to become law, it will require approval from two-thirds of the members in each house of the legislature, in addition to receiving support from the majority of those who are surveyed in a subsequent referendum. 

The Republican party is now in charge of both the state house of representatives and the state senate. In order for the proposed measure to become law, Alvarado is trying to garner support from both political parties.

Introduction of the Sports Betting in the Market

If the proposed new bill were to become law, it would usher in a number of constitutional amendments as well as clear the way for the usual parliamentary procedure to be utilized in the introduction of sports betting. 

This would necessitate only a simple majority of votes cast in each house as opposed to a supermajority.

A report that the Baptist Standard published at the beginning of the year stated that state lawmakers were expected to reject calls for the expansion of gambling and that this was likely to be the case.

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About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.