Las Vegas Sands spends big money for Texas casino initiative
By Bob Garcia
The company has opened up the wallet regularly to try to convince Texas to allow casinos
In an effort to promote commercial gaming legalization in Texas, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has recently hired 51 lobbyists to work their magic in that state. Before CEO Sheldon Adelson passed away, LVS already employed ten lobbyists. According to The Texas Tribune, a report has shown that between $2.3 million to $4.5 million has been spent on these campaigners to try to convince Texas lawmakers to warm up to the casino industry.
A political science professor at the University of Houston, Brandon J. Rottinghaus, told Casino.org, “This is one of the most aggressive pushes for a bill we’ve seen in a while.” A previous attempt to legalize casino failed; however, now that some political conditions have changed and more lobbyists were hired, the outcome might be different.
Other experts don’t really think this is going to happen, as they believe the state won’t legalize commercial gaming as of yet. Mark P. Jones, a political science fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, told Casino.org, “Las Vegas Sands can spend as much money on lobbyists as it wants. But that isn’t going to change the fact that without Adelson leading the charge, casino gambling legislation has no realistic hope of passing this session.”
Clyde W. Barrow, chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, states that there still numerous reasons why Texas may enact a gaming expansion law, indicates that Texas’s government is still having a deficit and besides that, the unemployment rate is still very high. With the casinos, thousands of jobs can be generated, and all the lost gaming dollars in nearby states where the gaming is allowed can be recaptured.