Casino gambling for Galveston?

I’ve said before that I fully expect there to be a push for an expansion of legalized gambling in Texas in the next legislative session. Here’s further evidence of that.

Casino gambling is increasingly seen by some as a way to revive this island city, which is reeling from Hurricane Ike and 3,000 layoffs by its largest employer.

The Strand Merchants Association believes gambling would bring in tourists with more money who would patronize the downtown historical area shops, many still struggling to reopen after being inundated with as much as 10 feet of storm water Sept. 13.

The increased tourism could help replace the patrons who won’t be coming back because they were laid off by the University of Texas Medical Branch last month, casino gambling supporters say.

They point to Biloxi, Miss., where casino gambling contributed $22.5 million to city coffers in fiscal year 2008.

Opponents fear casinos would resurrect an era when Galveston was infamous for its gambling, bordellos and corrupt public officials.

Casino gambling was endorsed by a majority in an informal poll taken by the Galveston County Daily News, whose publisher, Dolph Tillotson, is a vocal advocate of taking a hard look at gambling as a possible economic boon.

A Daily News online poll found that 81.7 percent of respondents believed casino gambling should be part of the island’s economic recovery plan.

I don’t think Galveston’s situation or apparent desire will change the mind of any staunch opponent to gambling, but it might be persuasive to someone who is otherwise ambivalent. Whether it could survive a veto from Governor Perry is a pertinent question; I don’t see that happening, but you never know. I tend to agree that a casino won’t be the balm that the merchants are hoping for, but I can understand why they’re willing to take their chances anyway. Keep an eye on it once the Lege convenes.

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3 Responses to Casino gambling for Galveston?

  1. Mike says:

    Why not have casino gambling in Galveston? Also if they could please add some jai alai courts and legalize sports gambling and put in some nice sports books, I think it would be a positive for the city and also good for tourism in the Houston region.

  2. cb says:

    A casino would be a success, of course our success would be a huge loss for Louisiana and Mississippi venues. Sports betting would be a huge money maker. There are few places in the u.s.a. that have legal football and basketball betting. It should be limited to non Texas teams and non Texas sports events.

  3. Cheetah11 says:

    Quit asking the State for money for bail out, be self supported & profitible.

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