Texas legislators are reportedly considering up to 17 different measures aimed at expanding gaming in the state.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the gaming initiatives range from the installation of slot machines at existing pari-mutuel facilities to establishment of eight casinos in the Lone Star state.
Perhaps the most ambitious bill is HJR 112, which seeks to allow the aforementioned eight casinos in addition to slots at tracks and expanded gaming on Native American lands. The eight commercial casino licenses would cost $50 million each, and be awarded to the companies that promised luxury resort developments. The Texas Gaming Association, a primary proponent of this bill, claims it will bring $1.2 billion in gaming tax revenue to the state each year.
Texas is facing a $27 billion budget shortfall this year.
A recent poll showed 86 percent of Texans believe they should be allowed to vote on casino legalization in the state. However, it is unlikely any gaming expansion measure will pass out of the Texas Senate, according to local observers.
Texas rife with gaming expansion proposals
April 1, 2011