Lawmaker wants to legalize casino gambling in South Texas, use profits for hurricane relief

Posted at 2:10 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 15:10:37-05

A lawmaker wants to legalize casino gambling in certain South Texas counties and use the profits to help with hurricane relief. 

The bill, filled in December by State Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont, would issue casino licenses in Galveston, Jefferson, Nueces, Bexar and Harris counties.

The bill would instate a casino gaming tax equal to 18 percent of a casino's gross gaming revenue. Half of the revenue from the tax will be allocated to a catastrophe reserve trust fund. 

This money would be used for residual windstorm insurance coverage and catastrophic flooding assistance in the coastal areas.

According to the Houston Chronical, even if the bill passes in the Texas Legislature and is signed into law by Gov. Abbott, Texans will vote on whether casino gambling will be allowed as it is currently barred by the Texas Constitution. 

State Rep. Deshotel filed a resolution to amend the Texas Constitution allowing the bill to take effect in November 2019 if passed.

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