BEUMONT — A Texas state lawmaker says it's time to roll the dice and bring a casino to Jefferson County and four other coastal counties.
State Representative Joe Deshotel (D-22) is the lone sponsor of House Bill 494 which he says would be the first step to bringing gambling to Texas.
The proposed bill would not legalize gambling in Texas but would amend the state constitution to eventually put casino gambling on the ballot according to Deshotel.
READ MORE | House Bill 494
The bill names five coastal counties including Jefferson, Galveston, Harris, Bexar and Neuces County.
The proposed location for the casino in Jefferson County is on Pleasure Island in Port Arthur.
Deshotel acknowledges that there may be opposition to bringing gambling to Texas but says this will help keep gambler's money in the state.
"The fact that there is not a casino in Texas, it doesn't stop people from going to casinos in droves," Deshotel told 12News on Wednesday.
"You see bus after bus of seniors right across the border in Louisiana," he said.
Revenues from casino gambling are one way to help pool more money to help fund additional insurance for those living in hurricane-prone areas according to Deshotel.
The Texas Legislature begins its 86th regular legislative session on January 8, 2019.