Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson's ambition to bring casinos to Texas is growing.
Las Vegas Sands appetite for Texas confirmed
Sheldon Adelson recently recruited eight powerful Texas lobbyists for an upcoming legislative session in January 2021, prompting rumors that Las Vegas Sands Corporation keeps an eye on Texas. Speculation was confirmed on Tuesday at a conference hosted by Texas Taxpayers and Research Association z based in Austin.
During the conference Andy Abboud, senior vice president of government relations at Las Vegas Sands Corp., made a half-hour proposal to legalize gambling in the state. "Texas is considered the biggest plum that is still waiting to appear in the history of hospitality and gaming" - Abboud said.
He also promoted legalization using strong arguments such as "Strict regulatory environment", "limited number of destinations in Texas" and "Blending into the existing infrastructure" unlike the Las Vegas replica.
The interest was publicly announced shortly after Adelson and his wife Miriam became Republican mega-donors for the November elections, donating $ 4.5 million to a Texas-linked account Republican Leadership Committee in September of this year to keep the majority of the Republicans. party at the State House.
Abboud also prompted lawmakers to require bidders to invest a minimum of $ 1-3 billion in order for bidding companies to build the best facility possible.
State Leaders' Retaliation
There are currently a few exceptions to the state gambling laws that they cover bingo racing horseback riding and dogs dog, and on state lottery. However, in the past few years, heads of state have shown little interest in relaxing gambling measures by changing laws and regulations. For example, in November 2015, the Governor Greg Abbot has expressed his support for strict gambling restrictions, ordering Texas Lottery officials to make efforts to investigate the expansion of sports betting.
Rob Kohler, a veteran of lobbyists against gambling, argued Wednesday: "We believe that elected members of the Legislature, as in the past, recognize that this type of opportunity is not economic development and will ultimately harm the state more. it would help in the end.
Jonathan Covey, Texas Values' chief policy officer also stated that legalizing casinos is not good for the nation's economy and families, and is not supported in Texas.
Texas and gambling
It's hard to believe that you can get a fine in Texas by playing Texas Hold 'Em, one of the most popular card games in the world and named after the state.
Texas' strict gambling laws are complex, with some reasons dating back to the 1920s when the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was adopted and the country banned gambling and alcohol. After the amendment was repealed in 1933, Texas remained with the strictest gambling laws in the country.
Potential world-class market
The current decline in oil and gas revenues, as well as the global situation, could force Texas legislature to consider other revenue opportunities.
Abboud expressed the opinion that Texas could become a world-class gambling destination like New York, Japan, and Brazil. He also found that casinos can create jobs, generate huge purchasing power and tax revenues.
Could Texas have changed its mind about gambling in these unprecedented turbulent times? The first stage of legislative changes could come as early as next year, when "the state of the legislature decides to vote and allows voters to decide," says Andy Abboud.
One thing is for sure - many people expect the results of Las Vegas Sands actions.