Texas Files Casino Bills as Alabama Casino Bill Fails
Alabama was looking to be one of the next states to regulate casino gambling. However, the measure will not advance in 2021 as it failed to pass the state Senate. Meanwhile, Texas is looking to finally overturn its constitutional ban on gambling. Bills in both the state House and Senate are looking to legalize casino gambling and sports betting.
Alabama Casino Bills Fails in Senate
Last month, we reported on a bill that would have legalized casino gambling in Alabama. The bill would have also legalized sports betting and the lottery. While some believed that the bill would pass, including us, the bill fell just short of passage in the state Senate.
According to the report from AL.com, the 35-member Senate fell just two votes short of passing the measure. While the Senate voted 19-13 in favor of the measure, the vote needed to be 21-11 for passage. The reason is that the bill required changes to the state constitution. As such, a 60% vote was needed for the bill to pass.
While the bill failed to pass, Governor Kay Ivey still is pleased with the progress of the bill. She was quoted, “For weeks, I have worked closely with Senator Marsh and others on this legislation which could be transformative if done right. While I believe more work needs to be done, moving the bill through the legislative process is a vital next step. My commitment remains the same: to let the people of Alabama have the final say on a good bill that, once and for all, addresses a long-standing challenge that has faced our state.”
All along, Gov. Ivey has wanted the matter to go to a referendum vote. Voters were able to vote on a state lottery in 1999, but they chose to reject the proposal. Lawmakers believe that citizens are ready to reconsider. They may be right considering that gambling is more socially accepted nowadays than it was 20 years ago.
Texas to Consider Gambling Bills
Texas has often been synonymous with gambling. The game of Texas Hold’em originated there and the state has been famous for many underground card rooms and underground gambling rooms. Now, the state is looking to go completely legit by legalizing casino gambling and sports betting.
There are two bills making their way through the legislature. The first is HJR 133 over in the State House. The Senate version of the bill is SJR 49. Both bills will legalize casino gambling in the state along with sports betting.
The measures will bring four casinos to major cities in the state. Dallas is one of the primary frontrunners for a casino. Also, the three tribal nations located in Texas can also run casinos. Sports betting will be also legalized. Real money online casinos are not part of the bill, but that doesn’t mean that won happen in the future. First, the state needs to focus on the gambling ban.
Similar to Alabama, a 60% vote will be needed to pass these joint measures. That’s because the bills seek to overturn the state’s constitutional ban on gambling.
Senator Carol Alvarado is the sponsor for the Senate version of the bill and stated, “Texas loses billions of dollars a year to our neighboring states that allow gaming and this measure would bring that revenue back to Texas, create tens of thousands of jobs and cut down on illegal gambling,”
It is hard to gauge the potential of this bill as there is significant opposition by some lawmakers. The state’s Lt. Governor claims that the bills have no shot. The two measures have bipartisan support, but time will tell if they have a legitimate shot to pass.