January 9, 2023 3 min read


Texas Considers Bill to Legalize Limited Casino Gambling and Sports Betting

The state’s legislature is ready to consider Senate Joint Resolution 17, a proposed bill that would give the green light to casino gambling at a limited number of locations while preparing the ground for sports betting

The new bill would generate the necessary framework for building the Texas Gaming Commission. The new body would be responsible for supervising legalized gambling in the state that continues to celebrate its “Wild West” roots. 

What Would the Bill Include?

Originally, the amendment was pre-filed by state senator Carol Alvarado last November. At the moment, the bill does not clearly mention the size of the licensing fees, but it does mention the number of licenses and the type of licenses that would be granted to operators in Texas.

A total of four destination resorts located in metropolitan areas in the state would be able to apply for a Class I license. It is, however, necessary for the respective cities to have a minimum population of two million and not to already possess an active licensed Class I casino operator.

The proceeds would go towards tax relief as well as funding for public safety programs and education. Casino taxes are expected to be set at 25% of gross gaming revenue from slot machines and 10% from table games.

If the bill is passed, three Class II licenses for “limited casino gambling” will become available for operators interested in providing horse racing options in large metropolitan areas. These licenses will be destined for operators with a previous pari-mutual wagering license.

A pair of Class III licenses will allow operators to provide limited greyhound racing gambling options.

Changes for Tribal Casino Operators 

A limited number of three tribal entities can currently provide casino gambling under the current Federal law. The list includes the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, Naskila Gaming in Livingston, and the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso.

However, the new state amendment would ask Indian casinos to cover an additional portion of revenue in the form of taxes. The bill would also ask the same tribal operators to have an effective gaming agreement or obey all state regulations related to Federal laws. 

To pass, the new bill would need votes from two-thirds of both chambers as well as a majority of the people polled during a future referendum. The state house and senate are currently under the control of the Republican party. Alvarado is seeking bipartisan support to make the proposed law pass.

If it would pass, the new law would also bring changes to the constitution and free the path for the introduction of sports betting through the standard legislative process. This would require a simple majority of both chambers instead of a supermajority.

At the start of the year, a report released by the Baptist Standard announced that lawmakers in the state were likely to resist pushes for the expansion of gambling.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.


  • Cheryl Baker
    January 9, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    Casinos are a great revenue for the State. It’s also entertainment for seniors with no immediate family nearby. Team workers at Casino become like family.

    Security at Casinos provide a feeling of being safe in the atmosphere. This is inside and outside. I personally enjoy the atmosphere of Casinos and will look forward to the State of Texas allowing gambling in the State.

  • Jose
    January 9, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    We’ll sure hope it goes through, won’t have to travel to other states any more.

  • Karen
    January 9, 2023 at 8:00 pm

    Isn’t bingo gambling? Isn’t scratch off tickets gambling? So why not bring revenue, jobs etc… to Texas instead of taking it to another state that has legalized gambling? These are the questions I have for those baptist that doesn’t want to bring casinos to to Texas!

  • Judy Zills
    January 9, 2023 at 8:05 pm

    All the Texas money isn’t staying here, it’s going to Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. Is that where you want it to go??? Get real people, this was passed by the voters sometime back so why not now????

  • Mark
    January 9, 2023 at 9:25 pm

    They will come up with the elderly people spending they social security check but they not worried about helping the homeless her in Texas so why not pass the law and TEXAS let’s do this

  • Luis C.
    January 10, 2023 at 12:23 am

    I hope it will pass. Casino owners must help education and other programs. Went To Louisiana. 90% was Texas plates. It should go only for bog cities in Tx.

  • Frederico Perez jr
    January 10, 2023 at 3:14 am

    Yes we need more job here Texas and the money stay here in Texas help pay for school computers whatever ,,,it time and get stats so the better for everybody and be safe

  • Anita fox
    January 10, 2023 at 4:10 am

    Would love to have casino’s here,beats getting shot going out & you must be 21 .Us old folks. Would like our money to stay in Tx.

  • Alice Cox
    January 10, 2023 at 4:30 am

    Yes it is, buying scratch tickets, horse races etc!! Would rather keep money in TX than OK., LA!!!

  • Tyla Caldwell
    January 10, 2023 at 6:17 am

    I sure would like for more legalized gambling in Texas. When I’m at Oklahoma casinos there are more Texas plates then any other state. Texas could use the extra revenue and extra jobs to elevate some facial burdens caused by the nation’s current administration.

  • Linda
    January 10, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    I’ve lived in Arizona & I try to back every year, it amazes me how awesome their roads are due to taxes from Casinos. Texas needs to implement Casinos Everywhere not just in the big cities in East Texas.

  • Donna Chambers
    January 10, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Having worked in a casino in Las Vegas in the compliance office, be very careful what you wish for. Casinos bring a lot of problems, it’s not just gaming.

  • Jennifer
    January 10, 2023 at 1:56 pm

    I agree, let’s keep the money in Texas!

  • Jerry
    January 10, 2023 at 2:40 pm

    It’s about time

  • Jeff
    January 10, 2023 at 11:51 pm

    If the casino allows smoking I won’t go. Last time I went to one I had to take a shower and wash my clothes as soon as I got home.

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