Over the years, Hollywood and the media have long associated gambling with the mafia and criminal activity. But, with the help of government regulations and adequate oversight, casino betting has become a highly lucrative industry. In fact, the industry is so successful that gambling stocks are even traded on Wall Street.
Many US states have legalized gambling, but some still do not support it. Texas is among the strictest states when it comes to casino betting. But, since the beginning of 2022, lawmakers have been debating on whether to legalize gambling or not. As a result, they have held many forums to discuss this controversial issue. But they have not yet reached a resolution.
Texas Gambling Laws
Texas statutes define gambling as placing a bet over an activity whose outcome is not yet known. Thus, gamblers are those who participate in or place a wager on such events. They could include the results of political contests, intellectual tests, or sports competitions. According to Texas Statute 1, charitable bingo, horse and dog races, lottery, as well as three federally-legal casinos managed by the Native American tribes are legal. But horse track and casino gambling remain a criminal offense. This means that those who gamble directly or indirectly can be held liable.
Indirect gambling refers to making incidental efforts to promote or enhance gambling. This could be by acting as an intermediary between gamblers, offering a venue or location to practice betting, or even owning a betting tool or a tool that promotes it.
In other words, casino operators, whether land-based or online sites like the ones reviewed by Wagering Advisers can be liable if they bring or promote their business in Texas. But this is not to say that Texans do not gamble. Due to the unlawful nature of casino betting in the State, Texans have been known to travel to neighboring states and engage in various gambling activities.
In fact, reports show that they spent a whopping $2.5 billion annually in out-of-state casino establishments. Many politicians argue that this is taking money out of the State, which could be otherwise used to advance the economy.
Why Should Gambling Be Legalized in Texas?
Like any other part of the world, there are many reasons why betting is popular among Texans. The justifications for legalizing casino gambling in Texas can be divided into two. These are practical and theoretical reasons. The benefits of the casino industry to the State would fall under the theoretical category. Alternatively, the overwhelming public support for the authorization of casinos would fall under the practical category.
● Theoretical Reasons
It is a well-known fact that the casino industry generates plenty of revenue for governments worldwide, and Texas is no exception. Although playing slots in physical or online casinos and winning rewards is illegal, Texas earns significant revenue from lottery games.
In fact, the State’s National Lottery Commission reported the considerable amount of revenue earned that aided in funding a public school project. Thus, the State will earn more revenue by legalizing casinos, which means it can fund more socially-acceptable projects.
● Practical Reasons
The practical category comprises the massive support for casino betting in Texas. As society’s morals have developed, it has become more acceptable for individuals to gamble at their discretion. Many believe that most Texans would support a constitutional change in favor of casino betting.
Yet, this ‘apparent’ widespread support has not helped advocates for the shift succeed in bringing about the change over the last few decades. This disparity is due to several reasons. Some of them being county support concentration or voters giving other causes precedence. In any case, it is advisable to focus on legislators and persuade them of the relevance of the proposal rather than voters.
There are compelling arguments against gambling, particularly in light of its addictive qualities. This is because playing in casinos can cause a gambler to lose money. As a result, the consequences of that monetary loss could ruin the gambler and their family.
But gambling is a choice, and individuals may only engage in it with their free will and agreement. Additionally, betting has several advantages, including fun and increased revenue generation.
Since there is no distinction between playing casino games and other activities, such as legal charitable gifts, the people of Texas should have the option to decide for themselves if they want to engage in casino gaming. Thus, Texas should legalize gambling.