Beto O’Rourke backs casino gambling, sports betting in Texas

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’ Rourke during the 2020 presidential gun safety forum at The Enclave ...

The Democratic candidate for Texas governor said he’d be inclined to support casino gambling and legalized sports wagering in the state as a means to decrease property taxes.

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in November’s election, said in a campaign stop in Dallas on Wednesday that he’d also consider supporting the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.

There’s no state property tax in Texas, but municipalities and counties levy property taxes to fund schools, police and fire departments, street repairs and public hospitals. O’Rourke, a Democratic candidate for president in 2020 who eventually endorsed Joe Biden, said the state could collect billions of dollars by regulating gambling, sports betting and marijuana sales.

Abbott contends that he has cut property taxes through the “taxpayers bill of rights” he signed into law.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. has invested millions of dollars in lobbying efforts to persuade Texas lawmakers to approve the development of integrated casino-resorts across the state. When the company’s most recent efforts failed earlier this year, company executives said they planned to resurrect efforts again in the next legislative session.

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, including Dr. Miriam Adelson, majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Las Vegas Sands President and COO Patrick Dumont.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.