Texas seen as major untapped gaming market

The Texas Gaming Association is pushing for the legalization of gaming on and off the state's reservations, citing the potential for a billion-dollar industry.

Texans can already play the lottery and gamble at racetracks. "It's already happening. It's already here," a lobbyist told the Associated Press.

The Tigua Tribe and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe have made the same argument in defense of their gaming enterprises. But the state succeeded in shutting down their casinos, which were being operated without a tribal-state compact.

The tribes are now considering several options to revive their economies. They include a constitutional amendment to legalize gaming on the reservation, legislation to authorize slot machines for racetracks, a Tigua casino in New Mexico, and rules from the Interior Department that would bypass the state.

But if the state gets involved, the Texas Gaming Association says gaming could generate $2.1 billion in revenues for the state, $729.7 million for local governments and 250,000 jobs.

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Casino Supporters Make Renewed Push In Texas (AP 1/18)
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