The Texas legislative session officially opens on January 10 and will run until May 29. A number of topics will be discussed, including Alvarado’s plan, first introduced in November 2022, and the state’s future in the gambling ecosystem.
Alvarado believes that it is time for Texas to pounce on the opportunity being presented to it. The state’s major cities are busier than ever, and the widespread prevalence of sports betting combined with the local sporting attractions would turn Texas into a priority gambling market practically overnight.
The proposal aims “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, authorizing and regulating casino gaming at a limited number of destination resorts and facilities licensed by the commission, authorizing sports wagering, requiring occupational licenses to conduct casino gaming, and requiring the imposition of a tax."
If approved, state voters would determine the fate of gambling in the Longhorn State. California was presented with a similar situation during the November ballot, only for Propositions 26 and 27, which would have brought sports betting to the locals, to fail resoundingly.
If Texans swung the other way, casinos would be erected in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. Hotels and conference centers, among other amenities, would be attached to the new properties.
Alvarado believes that her plan, if approved, would be a major stimulus for the local economy, not just in raw gaming revenue, but by creating thousands of new jobs.
“In construction, indirect jobs, and indirect jobs in hospitality, entrepreneurs—Houston is a place where people come for economic opportunity,” said Alvardo. “Having restaurants and shops open up would be a boost to our economy locally.”