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Bid for Texas casinos falls short again

Support for legislation to allow integrated resorts with casinos in Texas has fallen short again.

House Joint Resolution 155, which would have given Texas voters a chance to amend the state’s Constitution to allow legalized gambling was withdrawn by supporters after they determined they didn’t have the votes to approve it Friday.

It was the second straight session in which measures to legalize casinos in the Lone Star State have failed.

A bid to legalize online sports wagering in Texas is still alive after House members found enough affirmative votes Thursday to assure the supermajority necessary to pass legislation, but the measure faces an uphill battle in the Senate where Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a staunch opponent of gambling, presides.

Andy Abboud, senior vice president of government relations with Las Vegas Sands Corp., one of the leading proponents for integrated resorts in Texas, said he was encouraged by the progress made since Texas’ 2021 session.

“Our efforts to bring destination resorts to Texas took an extraordinary step forward with the vote in the Texas House of Representatives,” Abboud said via text. “Although it narrowly fell short of the two-thirds threshold of support required for a constitutional amendment, there is no question that our efforts are on the right track.”

With Texas out of play, Sands will now be able to focus its attention on New York, where it is one of several companies seeking one of three downstate casino licenses. The Sands bid is for a new resort at the Nassau Coliseum site in Long Island. New York officials don’t expect to evaluate casino considerations until late this year or in early 2024.

The company received a boost in April with first-quarter earnings results showing that Sands’ Macao and Singapore casinos have rebounded.

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, including Dr. Miriam Adelson, majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Las Vegas Sands President and COO Patrick Dumont.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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