Legalized Gambling Possibly 18 Months Away In Texas

Legalized Gambling Possibly 18 Months Away In Texas

Legalized Gambling Possibly 18 Months Away In Texas -Image via Wikipedia

The great state of Texas has the same state revenue problems as any other state, they are in the red with a predicted budget deficit of $27 billion over the next two years.

Texas may have for the first time in the conservative state, the chance to legalize gambling and bring in desperately needed funds. Gambling supporters are proposing high-end destination casinos in urban, fast growing cities like Dallas and Houston.

Bill Eadington, Director at the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno, said “Texas has attempted legislation for expanded gaming in the past but they’ve always been knocked down because of internal political fights among potential benefactors.”  He went on, “That said, the environment is arguably better now for legalization of gambling because states in general are in much more desperate financial straits.”

Texas state legislators reconvened last week. There are signs that lawmakers minds may be shifting to accepting gaming as a state-controlled framework.  However, there are still those opposed to all forms of gaming, including the Texas state lottery.

The idea to bring Las Vegas style casinos to big cities in Texas is not that far out there. Texas residents spend around $6 billion a year gambling in other states such as nearby Oklahoma and Louisiana. To bring that money back to Texas in the form of poker play and other casino games would be extremely attractive to even the most conservative in legislature.

Sports betting will not happen anytime soon however.Texas has the highest number of sports fans than any other state, with ten professional sports franchises and 12 Division I teams at college level. Although sports betting is currently out of the question in the minds of Texas lawmakers, there is also the current law  the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. This only allows lotteries to 4 grandfathered states – Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware. As long as gambling proposals coming in from Las Vegas don’t touch on sports betting, the way may be clear for casino play of poker and other gaming.

Although legislature is listening to bids from big Las Vegas casinos, don’t expect the Texas poker room to be open this year. “Two to three years is probably a reasonable timeframe from passing in legislation to opening the doors,” Eadinton said. “Anywhere from 18 months to two years would be the quickest. There is a lot of bureaucratic stuff that takes place along the way.”
As Texas studies its options, many of the pro-conservatives ideas regarding gambling may be ready to topple. Texas needs another financial oil-strike, and controlled gambling may be the next big thing to hit the great state of Texas.

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Posted by on Jan 20 2011. Filed under Poker Legal News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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