Austin, Texas
March 28, 2011

Honorable Mike Hamilton, Chair, House Committee on Licensing & Administrative Procedures
John S O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HJR151 by Thompson (Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the operation of casino games in this state by federally recognized Indian tribes on certain land.), As Introduced

Depending upon the number of Indian tribes that would conduct gaming and upon other unpredictable provisions in the bill, there could be an indeterminate fiscal impact to the state.

The cost to the state for publication of the resolution is $105,495.

The resolution would propose an amendment to add new Section 47a to Article III of the Texas Constitution, to direct the Legislature by general law to authorize the operation and regulation of casino gaming by federally recognized Indian tribes on or within five miles of tribal lands.
In the absence of enabling legislation, the Texas Lottery Commission would be required to adopt rules by December 31, 2011 to implement and oversee casino gaming operations.  The commission would appoint members to an Indian Gaming Advisory Committee.
A gaming compact with Indian tribes would provide that at least 8 percent of gross gaming revenue from casino games operated by Indian tribes be transferred to the state.  The Legislature could authorize a portion of casino gaming revenues to be distributed to counties and municipalities.
The amendment provides for, but does not require, a gaming compact with Indian tribes. Because the amendment would not require the tribes to enter into a compact with the state regarding the sharing of gaming revenues, it is not expected that this  proposed amendment would result in any new direct revenues to the state. In addition, a Texas Attorney General opinion (GA-0278, dated December 9, 2004) casts doubt on the state's authority to collect gaming revenues from Indian tribes by general law without a gaming compact. The amount of state and local revenue that would materialize, if any, cannot be estimated.
The proposed amendment would be submitted to voters at an election to be held November 8, 2011.

Local Government Impact

The fiscal impact to units of local government cannot be estimated.

Source Agencies:
304 Comptroller of Public Accounts, 362 Texas Lottery Commission
LBB Staff: