- Las Vegas Sands Corporation CEO Sheldon Adelson has been pushing for legislation to bring online casinos to Texas.
- The goal is to have a bill presented for the January legislative session.
- Over $4.5 million has been donated into Republican campaigns in Texas from Adelson and his wife.
AUSTIN, Texas – Local gamblers in Texas may soon be able to partake in online casino gaming as a new effort by billionaire Sheldon Adelson to bring online casino legislation to the Texas legislative session in January has been pushed forth.
Adelson is the chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation and has been working hard to gain favor in Texas recently.
Adelson has donated over $4.5 million alongside his wife to Republican campaigns for the state House in 2020. If his efforts turn fruitful, regulated online casinos in Texas may become a reality.
Texas Meets Vegas
Those gambling online in Texas know that the long fight for regulated online casinos in the Lone Star State has consistently ended in failure. Adelson is looking to change that trend.
The Las Vegas Sands Corporation CEO has been aggressively working towards having a bill approved by the January legislative session.
In addition to the campaign donations by Adelson and his wife, the billionaire has also has hired eight lobbyists to influence Austin legislators leading into the January session.
“Naturally, all of the significant players in the industry would put Texas at the top of their lists,” said Mark Lipparelli of the International Center for Gaming Regulation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Adelson does have at least one state representative on his side, Port Arthur Democrat Joe Deshotel has proposed several amendments over the years to bring online casino gambling to Texas.
In total, Deshotel has pushed seven bills related to USA online gambling which have all failed. Deshotel feels confident in a bill passing during the next session, however.
“Now maybe the best opportunity that casino gambling has had in quite a while,” said Deshotel. “Keep Texas money in Texas. The issue is trying to cut the money leaving Texas in such large amounts that could be going into the coffers here and helping Texans who need help.”
Deshotel’s argument has constantly been to stop Texas gamblers from leaving the state and spending their money outside of Texas borders. With the major losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, legislators may be more tempted to approve a bill.
Not only will bills be presented, but the state will have to recover from a $4.6 billion shortfall caused by the pandemic. Legislators could potentially be swayed to approve a new online casino gaming bill if only for the added revenue stream.