Although there are only two operating casinos in all of Texas, a Lone Star legislator would like to significantly expand that number in a bill that would allow for the creation of five new gaming operations in the state.
Representative Harold Dutton, Jr., whose legislative district includes the city of Houston, has introduced legislation that will allow for the creation of a process, the end result of which could see the building of the new casinos.
Dutton’s bill empowers the Texas State Legislature to “authorize the operation of casino gaming in this state in which individuals for consideration play games of chance that award prizes and are operated by persons licensed to conduct casino gaming.”
Dutton has emphasized that a portion of the revenues from the new casinos would go to pre-kindergarten education programs in Texas.
The legislation would specifically require the establishment of a state gambling commission whose job would be to approve the new casino operating licenses.
That same commission would additionally be tasked with implementing “procedures for the monitoring and inspection of casino gaming operations, as necessary, to protect the public health, welfare, and safety.”
The legislation, importantly, would also require a vote among the residents of the five counties where a new casino may be built.
One of those counties is El Paso County, whose largest city is El Paso.
Currently there are only two operating casinos in Texas, both of which are operated by Native American tribes: the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, and Naskila Gaming in Livingston.
By Garry Boulard
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