Gambling in Texas and the 2013 Legislature
March 12, 2013 | By Vela Wood
As Texans, we take pride in the special “Texan-way” that we go about things. Whether it’s rattlesnake roundups, Cadillac ranches, or BBQ, we always find our own way of going about it.
Add to this list…gambling.
We have horse racing and dog racing.
We have bingo halls.
We have the lottery.
We have private gambling exceptions under Texas Penal Code § 47.02(b)(1-3) to allow for private place gambling when no one receives any economic benefit other than personal winnings (nothing to the house) and the chances of winning or losing are the same for all participants (except for the advantage of skill or luck).
But as Texans we have to ask ourselves – are we ready to expand our gambling regulations so we can better compete for our Texan dollars that are going to our neighbors in the North and East who allow for commercial and Indian reservation gambling? (A side note – Texas also allows for Indian reservation gambling, but we only have one, in Eagle Pass).
A number of our Texas representatives are submitting bills in the 2013 session calling for everything from Constitutional amendments to reworking existing gambling laws to allow for Texas to profit more directly from (what appears to this author) as an increased demand for gambling. It will be interesting to see if any of these bills eventually make their way onto the Governor’s desk so we will be able to decide if we are ready for expanding gambling within our borders.
I guess we’ll find out in our own Texas time.