Although a traditionally red state, Texas is quite libertarian when it comes to the people and is much more accepting about diversity and differences than anyone might think. That is why even amongst conservative legislators there is now a push for more casinos in Texas.
Not only should this increase the amount of entertainment available in larger cities, but it might be beneficial for the growing need for public funding by the state. With its relatively low taxes, Texas is used for its people to be mostly self-sufficient. But with the growth of big cities that isn’t always possible.
As far as the progress, it has been slow. Currently, there are only three things we know for certain:
- There is a majority (60%) popular support for the opening of new casinos
- Las Vegas Sands company increased lobbyist budget to $4.5m
- If unaddressed the income will go to onlin gambling
Combined, these factors make it necessary for local legislators to allow some form of legalized gambling. While there are always downsides, and the conservative government is concerned about the impact on society, it seems these will come regardless.
Even if new venues don’t open, there is a list of casinos in Texas and you can find existing ones both on the ground and especially online. Thus, the local policy is starting to be: if the eggs will be broken both ways, we might as well make an omelet.
The Era of Liberalization
Although some would argue that ‘’liberal’’ ideas came to Texas only in the last half a decade since the state started allowing things like gay marriage, the culture of the region was never excluding.
Texans are conservative and straightforward when it comes to their own behavior. But, there is little judgment if you aren’t strictly on the straight and narrow. There are many mixing cultures in this large state, and all Texans accept it gladly, as long as you don’t want to tell them how they should behave.
Now, aside from a push for more casinos and entertainment outside of Native American reservations, there is also an idea to legalize the use of cannabis. While probably just for medicinal purposes, many state legislators are not against recreational use as well.
Voters are Open for the Idea
More than half of the voters in Texas are likely to support up to five legal casinos in the state, as well as dog and horse tracks that are already present at reservations. This shows a different picture than what most legislators thought were important issues in the state.
Thankfully, an overwhelming majority of lawmakers said that they would have nothing against letting voters decide if they want a new bill introduced that would allow for the formation of those casinos.
But, there are both pros and cons to consider if anything is to happen.
Primarily, the fact that 60% of the voters have nothing against the formation of these casinos doesn’t mean outright support and could only mean tolerance. It is possible that a louder minority of some who fear the impact of such developments on society might prevail due to conviction.
On the other side, even those who don’t plan on gambling at one of these locations see the benefits of tax revenue. Combined with a larger offer for entertainment, this can be the prevailing factor when it comes to the more conservative voters.
Las Vegas Sands Pushing for a Deal
Las Vegas Sands, the gambling empire made by the late Sheldon Adelson who passed away in January 2021, is pushing hard to be the one building the new casinos in Texas. They have their eye on the state for a while and realize the lucrative market it could be.
But, for a long while, the attempts of the company to draw the public and legislators to their side wasn’t as fruitful as they would hope. This is despite the push of the late CEO who was a known mega donor for the GOP.
Although some might think that the loss of Mr. Adelson will make the company lose steam in its plans, this isn’t likely to be the case. The industry of gambling is quickly changing from a get-rich-quick scheme to pure entertainment, and that changes the public perception.
Finally, with the company doubling its lobbyist budget it is likely for a change to be made quickly.
Underground Gaming Culture
There is a public argument that legalizing gambling on a wider scale in Texas might show unpredictable results because the state doesn’t have a history of gambling. And, while that is true for the open, it might not be the case under the surface.
Texas has a long history of sports and a lot of fans. People all across the state are very fond of things like fantasy football and personal bets on sports are very common.
With this in mind, making such bets public and allowing a larger crowd to gamble safely might be the best option, especially as online gambling is becoming accessible to anyone that is at least a bit tech-savvy.