Destination resort casinos are backed by many demographic groups in Texas, but there’s somewhat less support for sports betting, according to a new survey.

Texas state capitol building
The Texas Capitol, pictured above. A new survey indicates support for the state to enact legislation that would pave the way for resort casinos. (Image: Visit Austin)

Sponsored by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation, the recently released survey showed destination resort casino legislation was:

  • Supported by 56% of likely voters and opposed by 30%
  • Supported by 61% of men and 52% of women
  • Supported by 68% of Blacks, 58% of Hispanics, and 54% of whites

“Irrespective of gender, ethnicity/race, age, education, partisan identification and even religion, an absolute majority of Texans among more than 20 socio-demographic sub-groups wants to see destination resort casinos in Texas,” Rice University professor Mark P. Jones, a political scientist who is affiliated with the foundation, told

He noted that there’s bipartisan backing, too. Three-fifths of Democrats (58%) and Republicans (57%) questioned in the survey support legislation to allow gaming properties.

Allowing destination resort casinos is also backed by 52% of those identifying as “born-again Christians,” 59% of other Christians, and 55% of nonreligious Texans.

Sports Betting

The survey questioned participants about authorizing the construction and operation of destination resort casinos in Texas; legalizing online sports gambling in the state, and authorizing the operation of sportsbooks at stadiums and arenas where pro sports teams play in Texas.

Destination resort casino legislation is more strongly supported than either online sports gambling legislation or legislation which would allow sportsbooks inside Texas pro sports venues,” Jones said.

Legislation to legalize online sports gambling in Texas is supported by 47% of likely voters and opposed by 37%, according to the survey. Also, authorizing the operation of sportsbooks at Texas pro sports venues is supported by 41% of likely voters and opposed by 42%.

Women’s Preferences

The survey additionally showed that 52% of women questioned support destination resort casino legislation. Only 40% and 35% of females support online sports gambling and stadium sportsbook legislation, respectively.

While an absolute majority of Black, Hispanic and white men support both online sports betting and sportsbooks, support is substantially lower among women, especially white women, 44% and 50% of whom oppose the two respective legislative proposals,” Jones said.

White women are consistently the least supportive of all three types of proposed gambling “by significant margins compared to white men, Hispanic women, Hispanic men, Black women, and Black men,” according to a survey summary.

Some 1,600 likely Texas voters were questioned for the survey which was conducted between April 5 and 10.

As it now stands, Class III (commercial casino) gambling is prohibited in Texas. So too are online sports gambling and in-person sports gambling at sportsbooks.

During the 2023 session of the Texas Legislature, a bill, that eventually died, would have paved the way for a constitutional amendment on the construction and operation of several destination resort casinos. Legislation to permit online sports gambling in Texas narrowly passed in the Texas House, but died in the Texas Senate. If ever approved by the legislature, the measures still would require support by voters during a referendum.

Last month, Las Vegas Sands filed a new petition to bring casino gaming to Texas. Many lobbyists have been working on the issue in the state. New legislative proposals are likely in upcoming sessions.

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