Texas’ Lt. Gov Patrick Says Legal Casinos Still Unlikely Despite Recent Developments

Spread the Word:

Las Vegas Sands’ owner Miriam Adelson’s upcoming purchase of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks has prompted speculation that Sands and current Mavericks owner Mark Cuban could join to push for legal Texas casinos.

However, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick this week reaffirmed state lawmakers’ opposition to casino gambling. He asserted that the necessary votes to advance casino legislation to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk are simply not there.

“My experience and my knowledge is that we aren’t even close to having 15 votes or 16 votes for casinos,” Patrick said, speaking to CBS News Dallas.

“When the session was over, there was not a cry from voters calling their Senators or House members, ‘Gosh, we didn’t pass. I needed this bill.’”

Political Resistance Still Strong

The purchase of a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks by Dr. Miriam Adelson initially kindled some optimism for the future of commercial casinos in Texas.

Cuban has a good relationship with Las Vegas Sands, and has often touted them as a partner in his casino resort idea. This gave some hope that the two power players might convince Texas to eventually open its doors to integrated resorts.

Now, though, Lt. Governor Patrick, a long-standing opponent of the idea, has publicly rained on the parade.

Patrick’s observations are critical, as he presides over the state Senate, a chamber pivotal in any legislative change​​​​.

Casino Legislation’s Complexities

Introducing casinos in Texas is no simple matter any way you look at it. It isn’t merely a matter of passing a regular bill. Legalizing gambling will require amendments to the state constitution, for which any vote needs two-thirds majorities in the state House and Senate.

The lack of political support is also influenced by Texas’ economic prosperity. The Lone Star State is the second-biggest economy in the U.S., behind only California, and in 2022, it had more Fortune 500 companies than any other state.

All that considered, Texas lawmakers may well think they are doing just fine, thank you very much, and the economic argument behind legal casinos loses a lot of weight.

Despite public polls indicating support for casinos and sports wagering, these hurdles make the prospect of gaming expansion in Texas a long shot, at least anytime soon.

Even if another special session of the legislature is convened, Patrick says pressing social issues like property tax relief and cost-of-living increases are likely to take precedence over gaming expansion.

Regional Competition

The debate over casino legislation in Texas is expected to continue into 2024, with no real end in sight.

Patrick did not completely rule out the prospects of casinos in the long term.

“Big things don’t happen overnight,” Patrick said. “You got to get in the trenches and grind it out.”

In the meantime, casinos in neighboring states have capitalized on the lack of gambling in Texas.

For instance, Oklahoma casinos like the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma, just 90 minutes away from Dallas, have become a popular gambling destination for Texans.

The Choctaw even hired several Texas sporting legends to directly advertise across state borders.

Earlier this year, Texan furniture sales entrepreneur Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale placed several million of dollars in bets on his hometown Houston Astros of the MLB.

However, since Texas sports betting is not a regulated market, Mack was forced to place his hefty bets at various online sportsbooks in Louisiana and retail sportsbooks in Nevada.

When the Astros crashed out of the World Series, losing Mack more than $7 million to the ‘books, Texas also lost out on hundreds of thousands in potential taxes.

Related News

February 29, 2024

Reno Residents Casino Visits Based on More Than Gambling, Poll Says

In a recent piece on the long-debated issue of online casino market cannibilization in the U.S, we discussed the demographic differences between physical casino customers and online gamblers. One thing […]

February 27, 2024

MLB’s Best Still Looking for a Team

The Major League Baseball season has progressed to a full schedule of spring training games, and we are now just over three weeks away from the Los Angeles Dodgers and […]

February 25, 2024

Super Bowl Betting Dominated by Offshore Sportsbooks, Says Report

Super Bowl LVIII’s historic debut for the big game in Las Vegas attracted massive interest for sporting and cultural reasons. That led to innumerable headlines and legal sports betting records […]

February 22, 2024

US Gambling Revenues hit $66.5B in 2023, says American Gaming Association

The U.S. commercial gambling business (excluding tribal casinos and state lotteries) reached a third straight record year of revenues in 2023. That’s according to the newly-released 2023 report from leading […]

Stay Ahead of the Game

Are you ready to take your online gambling experience to the next level? Sign up for the LetsGambleUSA newsletter and get the latest news, exclusive offers, and expert tips delivered straight to your inbox.