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US – Sands says ‘great strides’ have been made despite Texas hold up

By - 25 May 2021

Efforts to bring resort casinos and sports betting to the state of Texas have failed at the legislative committee stage with discussions on proposed new laws not being held before a legislative deadline set by the State Affairs Committee.

The vote to discuss House Joint Resolution 133 before the May 31 end to the legislative session was needed by May 24 but failed to materialise. So too did a House bill to legalise sports betting, which despite getting a hearing before the State Affairs Committee last month, also didn’t get the vote before the deadline.

If approved Texas voters would have been allowed to vote in a referendum on whether to create special casino licenses for four ‘destination resorts’ in the state’s four largest metropolitan areas: Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

Las Vegas Sands was one of the main driving forces behind the Texas push. It financed a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to promote its aim of opening a casino in Texas with a series of TV and radio ads as well as funding the campaign under the banner of its new Texas Destination Resort Alliance, which has unveiled a website.

Sands Senior Vice President of government relations Andy Abboud said: “We have said from the beginning that we’re committed to Texas for the long haul. We have made great strides this session and have enjoyed meeting with lawmakers about our vision for destination resorts and answering all the questions they have.”

Sands had argued that Texans currently spend several billion dollars a year on gaming in neighboring states such as Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma.

Sands CEO Rob Goldstein said: “Destination resorts have proven to be excellent drivers of economic growth and enhanced tourism, and we are excited about the possibility of bringing the concept to the Lone Star State. Our commitment is to develop transformational destination resorts that create tens of thousands of jobs and produce billions in revenue for the state while also providing robust economic benefits to the local host communities.”

Image By Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81110867

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