El Paso leaders’ attempts for resurrecting the Speaking Rock Casino seem to be headings towards a dead end this year. Chente Quintanilla, the State Representative, presented the first of more than a dozen bills on Tuesday before a House committee which seeks to expand gambling in the state by proposals like the placement of slot machines at race tracks, establishing casinos like those in Las Vegas and giving Indian tribes the permission to resume gaming operations. While explaining the bill, Quintanilla spoke about allowing the people of the state to have a vote on the matter. The bill requires a constitutional amendment in the state which leaves the decision of allowing gambling to the respective counties.
The government in Texas faces a shortfall in their budget worth almost $27 billion and many have suggested revenue from taxes imposed on casinos and slot machines as a way for lessening this deficit to an extent. However, there is a very slim chance that the gambling legislation will actually make it through the two houses of Legislature. Members of the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee are quite receptive for this bill, which will be considered by the full house, to be passed. However, the bill will go to Texan voters for final approval only if it gets two thirds of the votes in its favor in both the houses and the Senate.
However, many state leaders have come out and made public comments which indicate that attempts to rally votes might be futile in the legislature, which is controlled by the Republicans. Joe Strauss, the House Speaker recently said that Texans will not be gambling soon in their own state. Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have both publicly voiced their opinions in opposition to the legislation which legalizes gambling. According to state Senator Robert Duncan, even in the case that the bill is passed by the House, there is no support to move it in the Senate.