Las Vegas Sands Still Considers Establishing Casinos in Texas

The casino empire Las Vegas Sands continues with the plan to bring casinos in Texas even after the few set backs it experienced this year, including the death of its CEO Sheldon Adelson.

As Adelson passed away, many started questioning how much momentum remained behind the cause. Regardless of the sad event, Las Vegas Sands made it clear that the initial plan is still on the table and that Texas is a good enough opportunity for expansion.

Prior to Adelson’s death, the new state House speaker, Dade Phelan stated that casinos needed to be treated as a “long-term commitment” and not a short-term one meaning that a casino in Texas would bring profit.

A possible Sands casino in Texas will help with the state’s budget problems. But operating on Texas ground is a rewarding experience for the casino giant as well.

Andy Abboud, Las Vegas Sands’ senior vice president of government affairs said: “The possibilities for expanding Texas’ tourism offerings are exciting and we look forward to working with lawmakers this session to present the potential opportunities that exist for robust, long-term economic development and jobs for the state,”.

Strict Gambling Laws

Texas is known for its strict gambling laws, maybe the strictest in the US. There are few exceptions though, where the practice is allowed, such as bingo, the state lottery and at horse or greyhound dog races.

According to a court decision, made in 1980s, three federally recognized Native American tribes operate casinos in Texas but only with limited games. Those are Eagle Pass, El Paso and Livingston casinos.

No efforts to expand pass this legislations were made so far. Abbott said in 2005 that he fully supports the Texas law. In the meantime he ordered the state’s lottery officials to stop exploring sports betting games.

Earlier this month, more information on the Sands future expansion in the state came to light. According to finance reports from January 15, Adelson gave $500,000 to Abbott in October last year. Such a move made Adelson the second largest donor for the reported period of the second half of 2020.

While waiting for the Texas casino to become reality, Las Vegas Sands made an attempt to enter online sports betting industry. Late Sheldon Adelson had strong opinion against such a move, but after news broke that he had passed away, his deputy Rob Goldstein decided to give the idea some serious thought.

According to some, the decision will be based on the result of the current coronavirus pandemic that brought significant losses for the whole industry. The Las Vegas casino giant makes no exception.

Source: “Casinos in Texas? Las Vegas Sands gambling empire pushes forward with goal”, KXAN, January 26, 2021

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