Business leaders in Galveston, Texas, are preparing for a full-court press to bring a casino to their town, but first they need to convince the legislature to allow gambling in the Lone Star State.
A recent web-based survey of nearly 500 members of the city’s Chamber of Commerce showed that 79 percent supported casinos on the Gulf of Mexico. Half of those surveyed said they would support casinos only if they retain local control.
The legislature has debated expanded gaming several times in the last few sessions, but each time voted it down. Gaming proponents are hoping that the biannual session that begins in January will be different. For one thing, the state is confronting an $18 billion deficit and because the state has no gaming, its residents spend all their gambling dollars in other states.
Hurricanes have hit the Gulf Coast heavily in recent years, and towns like Galveston are looking at something that could help them bounce back to life. They point to nearby Mississippi and towns like Biloxi as examples of how casinos can boost the local economy.