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US – Texas Governor rekindles hope of casino expansion in the state

By - 27 October 2022

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has sparked the interest of casino operators in the US with the news that if he is re-elected he will look at expanding the state’s casino industry from the solitary tribal casino currently in existence.

The Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, operated by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, could soon be joined by a host of famed casino names with Las Vegas Sands having long been interested in operating in the Lone Star state. Last year, Sands led The Texas Destination Resort Alliance in lobbying the state government and has already spent $US1.5m

Matt Hirsch, a spokesperson for the Texas Sands PAC said: “They [Sands]are committed to Texas, and they’ve been articulating that for the past two years — that they’re here for the long haul.”

The Governor’s press secretary Renae Eze said: “We don’t want slot machines at every corner store, we don’t want Texans to be losing money that they need for everyday expenses, and we don’t want any type of crime that could be associated with gaming. But, if there is a way to create a very professional entertainment option for Texans, Gov. Abbott would take a look at it.”

Speaking to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Beto O’Rourke, Democrat for governor, said; “Allowing limited forms of gambling in Texas would generate billions of dollars in new state revenue every year that we could use to increase school funding and lower property taxes. I am open to exploring the idea of legalizing and closely regulating sports bettings, as two-thirds of US states have done. I’m also open to letting voters decide on destination-style casinos in our biggest metro areas and lifting burdensome limitations on casinos already being operated by our Tribal nations, while working with local leaders and community members to ensure that any casino in Texas benefits the community in which it operates.”

The legislators aren’t due to meet again until January 10.

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