Representatives of Las Vegas Sands have said that if gambling became legal in Texas, the brand was interested in setting up a casino in Dallas.
In a small briefing with reporters, the Sands team made a statement saying that Dallas was a top location for a potential resort because of its robust convention and tourism industry, as well as its proximity to airports.
Greatest bleed of money
Andy Abboud, the casino giant’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, said: “We’ll look at the entire market of Texas, but focus primarily on Dallas because that is where the greatest bleed of money is going, across the Oklahoma border.”
The legalisation of gambling in Texas is a difficult fight, according to Abboud, but his team is still optimistic and envisages developing resorts in at least four major metro areas.
Sands is determined to realise its ambitious strategy. However, the President of the State Senate, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, showed little interest in legalising Texas gambling.
Abboud doesn’t feel discouraged, considering Patrick’s latest remarks on the matter. He said: “I am very optimistic and bullish on the fact that we are going to make a really compelling case.”
Most stringent anti-gambling rules
In the US, Texas has one of the most stringent anti-gambling rules. Except for bingo, the Texas Lottery and some horse and greyhound track racing, the constitution forbids most gaming options.
Two bills are required in order for gambling to be completely legalised. One is to amend the Constitution, which requires two-thirds of both the House and the Senate to approve it. The second one is to enact the licensing and regulation info.
Voters well ahead of where politicians are
If the first one were to pass, the majority of voters would need to approve it. Texans are fond of the concept of the legalisation of gambling in the state, according to Abboud. “Voters are well ahead of where politicians are,” he added.”
Abboud claimed that no matter what, Sands would soon carry out its legislation. Sands’ efforts will be to overturn the state’s casino gaming ban and to establish a regulatory system that will require at least a few billion dollars of minimum stakeholder investment.
The law would allow the federally recognised Indian Tribes of the state to switch to full-fledged casino gambling, according to Abboud. They run a casino in Eagle Pass as of now, but with only small gaming.
The Republicans have held a neutral stance when it comes to legal gambling in Texas, according to Gov. Greg Abbott and Dade Plehan, the speaker of the Texas House, and are also waiting to hear from fellow lawmakers to make up their minds.