Dallas, TX councilman: City should prepare for legalized gambling – WFAA.com

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Councilmember Chad West discussed whether or not casinos have a future in the city.

DALLAS — Gambling isn’t legal in Texas… yet.

But that doesn’t mean the city of Dallas doesn’t want to be prepared when it is.

“And if we’re sitting around on our hands once it becomes legalized, it’s a malpractice for us as a city to not put processes in place and plan for welcoming casinos in,” Dallas City Council Member Chad West told us on Inside Texas Politics. “I guarantee you cities like Irving, Grand Prairie, certainly Arlington, are already looking at what happens in our city if legalization happens at the state level.”

A Dallas City Council committee just held a briefing on gambling in Texas in general and bringing casinos into the city specifically.

West says it’s important for Dallas to decide if it wants to welcome it as a city and whether council members want to miss out on any opportunities for additional tax revenue and jobs that would accompany those casinos.

But Economic Development Committee members punted on whether or not to include support for gambling legalization as part of their state legislative priorities.

A couple of members expressed concerns about public safety and how gambling will impact some residents, calling it a tax on the poor.

West thinks some level of legalization will not only happen but happen soon.

“I would be shocked if it doesn’t happen this session in some fashion or another,” West argued. “I would guess the state does something. Maybe not full legalization. Maybe just a few licenses here and there to sort of test out the waters like they did with medical marijuana. But I foresee something happening in this next session.”

 Chad West also addressed the city of Dallas’ attempt to add housing density to help with the affordability crisis… think duplexes, triplexes, and even fourplexes in single-family zoned neighborhoods. The City Council will receive a briefing the week of January 28. West talked at length recently about this subject on Y’all-itics. Listen to the full episode to learn more. 

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