How cool it would be to not have to drive outside of Texas to be able to play blackjack or test our luck at a slot machine. The talk has been there for years about legalizing casino gambling in Texas with a majority of the state's residents in favor of it. Casino lobbyist are in Texas to make a huge push towards the legalization of casino gambling with the Texas House of Representatives speaker very much behind putting the subject in front of voters.

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Good and Bad of Gambling

It was a big deal in Texas in the early to mid 90's when the state legalized lottery games. It became a lot of fun for residents to head into a convenience store and be able to purchase a scratch off ticket or select their numbers in the various nightly lottery drawings. Of course, the downside to this fun is those who do become addicted to the medium and will forgo necessities in hopes of hitting it big.

If you or someone you know is addicted to gambling, get help from the National Council on Problem Gambling at 1-800-522-4700.

As more and more states begin legalizing gambling of some sort, the stigma of being home to a casino is going away. For us in East Texas, its fairly common for many of us to head to Shreveport for an evening of sitting in front of slot machine or at the blackjack table to win, or blow, some disposable income. Many of those same East Texans would probably not mind having to drive to a neighboring city to do the same.

Texas Government Support

Texas House of Representatives Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, who is a Republication, has said “I want to see destination-style casinos that are high quality and that create jobs and that improve the lifestyle of those communities." Texas Senator Carol Alvarado of Houston, a Democrat, has filed a proposal to add a constitutional amendment that would legalize casino gambling, sports betting and create a Texas Gaming Commission (KHOU). The proposal would also allow for four resort casinos in cities like Dallas, Austin, Houston and other larger Texas cities.

What has to Happen Before Becoming Law

A lot has to happen for any of this to become a reality. Two-thirds of the House and Senate would need to approve such an amendment and then Texas voters would get the final say so into legalized casino gambling becoming a law. The arguments are strong on both sides of this subject, we'll see how it all plays out over time.

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