Texas state Senator John Carona recently introduced Senate Joint Resolution 64, which would create the Texas Gaming Commission, permit casinos on tribal lands and allow licensed operators to run casinos. Specifically, the bill would allow three large destination resorts in Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio and three mid-size resorts at Corpus Christi, Galveston and South Padre Island, among other recommendations. The casinos would create 100,000 new jobs, and total economic impact from the resorts, related development, tax revenue and job growth would be about billion, said Texas Gaming Association Executive Director Jack Pratt, former owner of the Sands Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, and one of the founders of the former Hollywood Casinos.
“As an economic impact bill it’s the largest proposal I’ve ever seen during my last 60 years in Texas,” Pratt said.
License applicants would have to prove their casino project includes land and total development costs from $250 million to $1 billion. Application fees would range from $15 million to $50 million.
Recent polls indicate up to 85 percent of Texas wants the chance to vote on the issue. “The time is right,” Pratt said.
But with many legislators and Governor Rick Perry adamantly opposed to gaming legalization, experts give the bill little chance of success.