There are about 3 casinos in Texas but currently, casinos and sports betting are illegal. That may change soon.

Since a 2018 Supreme Court ruling allowed states to make the decision to legalize it, over 30 states have legalized some form of waging on sports.

Bill TX SJR17 was just submitted by state Senator Carol Alvarado out of the Houston area that would create the Texas Gaming Commission to be the regulatory agency, meaning it would be legal to have casinos and sports betting in the state of Texas.

According to KRIS 6 News in Corpus Christi:

"It would establish four casino resorts in major Texas cities that have over two million people. The bill specifies there are different levels to gaming licenses and a lower license would allow gambling in smaller cities across Texas."

This would not only legalize casinos but sports betting as well. Sports betting is illegal in the state of Texas unless you are using an offshore site.

This is not the first time Texas has tried to pass a bill like this. In the last year, two bills were proposed stalled and did not receive a vote in either the Texas House or Senate before the end of the 2021 legislative session.

If passed betting revenue from those casinos and sports betting would help fund public education and public safety just like what they do with the Texas lottery. Now that doesn't mean it will stay that way. When the discussion starts all things on the bill and what we see if it comes to the ballot could be different.

The bill would legalize slots and table games and provides for a 10% tax on gross gaming revenue for table games and a 25% tax rate on gross gaming revenue from slot machines. For sports betting, the bill does not propose a tax rate.

The worry is, game rooms have always been a problem by attracting criminal behavior but they also say this might actually help because it would be regulated gambling and hopefully cut down on the crime we are already seeing.

Now, this isn't something that would be happening soon. It would likely have to be passed as a constitutional amendment and then a majority vote by Texans.

The next legislative session begins on Jan. 10th, 2023. Once started legislators will have until May 29, 2023, to pass all the bills. If the bill goes through it wouldn't be put on the ballot until November 2023 election. Then the earliest it would go into effect would be 2024.

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