May 23, 2024 2 min read


LVS Head Supports Dade Phelan Ahead of May Runoffs

This money comes at just the right time as far-right competitors seek to remove moderates from the party

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan has secured financial backing from a variety of businesses, including the head of the casino juggernaut Las Vegas Sands. This money comes at just the right time as far-right competitors seek to remove moderates from the party.

As the runoffs draw near, Phelan’s campaign secured significant backing from Miriam Adelson, the widow of LVS’ late head Sheldon Adelson. For context, Miriam backed Phelan’s campaign through Texas Defense PAC, a newly formed group, providing the GOP candidate with a $660,000 boost.

Since its foundation, Texas Defense PAC has provided backing to a variety of imperiled GOP candidates, helping them surpass their runoff foes in terms of financing. Adelson’s efforts come amid continued efforts to push for casino legalization in Texas. Last year, casino backers failed to get enough votes to legalize destination resort casinos but the industry and its allies are not ready to give up.

Phelan’s campaign has so far received approximately $3.4 million and spent almost $3.9 million. This puts his efforts way ahead of those of his main opponent, David Covey.

However, certain critics accused Phelan of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the casino lobbyists. Attorney Mitch Little slammed Republicans who take money from the gambling lobby as “useful idiots.”

Covey Continues to Gain Traction

In the meantime, Covey, Phelan’s biggest threat, has raised some $1.7 million and spent nearly as much since late February. Although this figure is much lower than Phelan’s financing, Covey could still turn Phelan into the state’s first speaker in more than half a century to lose a primary.

Covey has been gaining traction for the past few months, despite initial skepticism about his run. He has since secured the support of many of Phelan’s major opponents, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Midland oilman Tim Dunn.

Patrick has been among Covey’s main backers and has supplied the candidate with $100,000. Meanwhile, Dunn’s new political organization, Texans United for a Conservative Majority PAC, and businessman Alex Fairly have been among Covey’s biggest donors, supplying him with over $400,000 and $500,000 respectively.

Patrick, Dunn and Fairly are together responsible for over 60% of Covey’s fundraising.

The runoffs have been scheduled for May 28.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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