Texas senator introduces resolution to allow sports wagering and casino gambling

The RFL will have a say in the new legislation.
The RFL will have a say in the new legislation.

Texas senator Alvarado has pre-filed a bill to amend the constitution to legalise casino gaming and sports betting.

US.- Texas senator Carol Alvarado, the Democratic representative for the south-east Houston district, has filed a ground-breaking gambling bill for the conservative state. Coming ahead of the beginning of next year’s legislative session, the proposal seeks to amend the constitution to legalise casino gaming and sports betting.

Under Senate Joint Resolution 17, pre0filed Monday, a Texas Gaming Commission would be created to regulate legal commercial gambling in the state. A public vote would be held on whether to legalise sports betting and a limited number of big-city casinos.

Senate Joint Resolution 17 states: “Proposing a constitutional amendment to foster economic development and job growth and to provide tax relief and funding for education and public safety by creating the Texas Gaming Commission, authorising and regulating casino gaming at a limited number of destination resorts and facilities licensed by the commission, authorising sports wagering, requiring occupational licences to conduct casino gaming, and requiring the imposition of a tax.”

The resolution is expected to be heard in the 2023 legislative session in Austin from January 10 to May 29. Resolutions and bills are customarily pre-filed but not acted upon until House and Senate members meet for the legislative session. 

Even if approved next year by a two-thirds vote in both legislative chambers, Alvarado’s gambling resolution still would require a statewide public vote on November 7, 2023. This would be required to amend the Texas Constitution, which prohibits most gambling.

Last year, two bills, HB2070 and HJR97, both sponsored by Rep Dan Huberty, proposed constitutional amendments to legalise sports betting, did not receive a vote in either the Texas House or Senate.

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