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Company with controlling interest in Dallas Mavs files petition to legalize casino gambling in Texas

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DALLAS — Las Vegas Sands, the company that purchased a controlling share of the Dallas Mavericks in December 2023, filed a petition to legalize casino gambling in the Lone Star state.

Texas Destination Resort Alliance petition

The Texas Destination Resort Alliance, established in 2021, petition states it is "fighting to bring luxury resorts, top-of-the-line entertainment, fine dining, and more to Texans' backyards" by "expanding casino-style gambling" into Texas.

This isn't the first time the casino company has attempted to get Texas to change its laws on gambling. In 2022, Las Vegas Sands launched a $2 million political action committee to lobby for legalized casino gambling. The PAC was called Texas Sands.

Efforts to legalize gambling in Texas have faced steep odds. Late last year, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told CBS News Texas political reporter Jack Fink that there is not enough support among Republicans in the state Senate. However, Miriam Adelson, of Las Vegas Sands has made no secret of her push to bring casino gambling to the state.

In Feb., State Representative Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) filed HJR 97, which lays out a framework that would lead to a change to the Texas Constitution and allow for casino resorts. 

The Chickasaw Nation, which operates the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma and owns Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, where there's live horse racing, said it also supports casino resorts in Texas. Next month, the Choctaw Landing Casino and Resort is expected to open in the southeast corner of Oklahoma in Hochatown, which is about a three-hour drive from Dallas. 

There are also separate bills that would allow sports betting, which the Texas Sports Betting Alliance supports.

Former Governor Rick Perry is a spokesman for this alliance and supports legislation filed by Texas Senator Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham and Representative Jeff Leach, R-Plano. 

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones previously released a statement as part of the Texas Sports Betting Alliance. 

"It will give Texans the ability to decide for themselves if they want this activity safely regulated or continue to be conducted in the shadows by out-of-state betting platforms," Jones said.

To change the state constitution and legalize gambling, two-thirds of the House (100 of 150 Representatives) and Senate (21 of 31 Senators) would have to approve legislation. Then voters would have to give their ok in an election.

A spokesman for the group said they're sending out a reminder about the petition and that it's part of what will be a renewed push before the start of the 89th Legislature that begins in January.   

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