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Push Continues For Casinos, Sports Betting In Texas

Las Vegas Sands Launches Petition Drive For Vote

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Las Vegas Sands, the new majority owner of the Dallas Mavericks, continues pushing for casinos being legalized in Texas. The company is now funding a petition drive in the state via the group known as Texas Destination Resort Alliance to send the issue to voters in the Lone Star State.

Former Mavericks major owner Mark Cuban, who now owns a minority of the team but continues to control basketball operations, has long favored building a new arena for the team that would be coupled with a casino resort. Cuban sold the team to Sands in part to see that possibility become a reality.

“We’re a coalition of Texans from all walks of life, asking state legislators to allow us the opportunity to vote yes on a statewide constitutional amendment authorizing the development of destination resorts in the state’s major markets,” the group notes on its website.

Details On The Effort

Efforts at expanded gaming have been rejected in the state legislature over the last few years. Sands launched a political action committee in 2022 to try and change attitudes about gaming among residents and legislators.

Convincing enough Republicans in the legislature to support casino gaming has been a major obstacle. Expanding gaming would also require Texans to vote on a constitutional amendment. The petition effort offers a way to possibly bypass the legislature.

The Chickasaw Nation, owner of the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma and the Lone Star Park horse track in the Dallas area, also backs casino legalization. Bills have also been circulated to legalize sports betting and former governor Rick Perry, a spokesman for the Texas Sports Betting Alliance has lent his support. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is on record backing legalizing sports betting as well.

“It will give Texans the ability to decide for themselves if they want this activity safely regulated or continue to be conducted in the shadows by out-of-state betting platforms,” Jones said as part of a statement for the Sports Betting Alliance.

In related news, the city of Dallas has recently begun looking into finding a zoning compromise to allow for poker clubs in the city.