Las Vegas Sands representatives said that the brand was interested in opening a casino in Dallas if gambling becomes legal in Texas.
The Sands team made a statement on a small briefing with reporters, saying that Dallas was a top location for a future resort due to its robust convention and tourism industry, as well as its proximity to airports.
Andy Abboud, senior vice president of government affairs for the casino giant 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.”
According to Abboud, the legalization of gambling in Texas is a tough battle but his team is still hopeful and is envisioning building resorts in at least four major metro areas.
Sands is determined to make its ambitious plan come true. However Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, President of the state Senate, showed no interest in legalizing gambling in Texas.
Despite Patrick’s recent comments on the matter, Abboud doesn’t feel discouraged. He said: “I am very optimistic and bullish on the fact that we are going to make a really compelling case.”
Gambling in Texas
Texas has one of the strictest anti-gambling laws in the US. Its constitution bans most gaming options except bingo, the Texas Lottery and some horse and greyhound track racing.
In order for gambling to be fully legalized, two bills are required. One is to amend the Constitution, which requires approval from two-thirds of both the House and the Senate. The second one is to enact the details of the licensing and regulation.
If the first one passes, it would need to be approved by majority of voters. According to Abboud, Texans are fond of the idea of legalization of gambling in the state. He added: “Voters are way ahead of where policymakers are.”
Abboud stated that Sands will be rolling out its legislation soon no matter what. Sands’ efforts will be to overturn the ban on casino gambling in the state and to create a regulatory framework that will include minimum investment from interested parties of at least a couple of billion dollars.
According to Abboud, the legislation would allow the state’s federally recognized Indian Tribes to move to full-fledged casino gambling. As of now, they are operating a casino in Eagle Pass but only with limited gaming.
According to Gov. Greg Abbott and Dade Plehan, who is the speaker of the Texas House, the Republicans have kept a neutral position when it came to legal gambling in Texas and they are still waiting to hear from fellow legislators to make up their mind.
Source: “Industry rep.: Dallas would be top target for casino resort if Texas legalizes gambling” Dallas News, February 11, 2021