Author Topic: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?  (Read 543 times)

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Online Elderberry

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ABC13 By Charly Edsitty 12/12/2018

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) --
Gambling in Galveston County has been a debated issue for decades that could become a reality if one state legislator can convince voters to make it happen.

The proposal promises to help out homeowners living on the Texas Gulf Coast who have to pay for expensive hurricane insurance.

Deshotel is pushing House Bill 494 as one way to help pool more money to help fund the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, which is additional insurance for those living in hurricane-prone areas.

If approved, the Texas Lottery Commission would have the power to issue six licenses for casinos in Galveston, Jefferson and Nueces counties, as well as approve dog or horse tracks in Harris and Bexar counties.

More: https://abc13.com/politics/could-casino-gambling-become-a-reality-in-houston/4881567/
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Offline Sanguine

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2018, 09:42:15 PM »
I'm not sure what I think about this.  But, then I'm not a gambler.
Cui bono?

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Online Elderberry

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2018, 10:14:47 PM »
Maybe its finally time for them to go legit.

A Gambling Tale: The History of Galveston’s Underground Casinos
August 21, 2017 Sean Chaffin

https://www.pokernews.com/news/2017/08/gambling-galveston-underground-casino-history-28793.htm

Quote
The story of how the Maceo brothers created an illegal gambling empire in Texas

Sheriff’s deputies were not invited. They weren’t there for the gambling – they were there to close down the Lucky 7 and R&N game rooms – and seize thousands of dollars in cash on that warm day in mid-July. After an undercover investigation uncovered illegal gambling that included more than 150 eight-liner style slot machines from the two locations, deputies seized items that included an ATM machine used by bettors to keep the cash flowing in the slots. Two suspects faced felony money laundering and organized crime charges.

This 2011 raid was just another example in a long war between law enforcement and those hoping to keep gambling alive in Galveston County, Texas. As another summer vacation season comes to a close, thousands will head home from a city that attracts vacationers from across the country looking for a bit of fun in the sun at the beach, some great seafood, and a visit through one of Texas’s oldest cities. What many may not also realize is that this city on the Gulf of Mexico was once one of the hottest gambling destinations in the country – though not quite on the up and up.
Booze Brothers

As far back as the early-1900s, a few underground gambling establishments in dance halls and saloons were offering a chance to wager some cash. The city had been home to various types of criminality from prostitution to bootlegging, and Sam and Rosario Maceo first moved to the island in 1910 from Louisiana. Only a decade earlier, the city was destroyed in the Great Galveston Hurricane, which killed as many as 12,000 people and is still listed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the deadliest natural disaster in American history.

Born in Sicily, the Maceo brothers began work as barbers, but the lure of easy money soon led them to a life of crime serving the vices of Texans looking for a stiff drink during Prohibition. In Galveston, ships from Jamaica, Cuba, and other Central American and Caribbean countries would offload liquor a few miles out to sea, and then run into port by bootleggers who could make thousands of dollars supplying the Southwest (including the rest of Texas) and other destinations with illegal booze.

A local gang leader approached Rosario (nicknamed Rose) about hiding 1,500 cases of rum in his beach cottage. The payment of $1 a case proved much more than his haircutting wages, and Rose and Sam were soon hooked on the “business.”

After World War I, the brothers opened up their own barbershop and began rewarding customers with bottles of Dago Red (a cheap Italian-style wine made outside of Italy) during the holidays. The booze proved popular with customers looking to quench their thirst with some underground libations. Sam then opened a store selling “cold drinks,” a front to peddle liquor. The ban on alcohol proved to be an opening the men needed and they were soon knee-deep in liquor until the repeal of Prohibition in 1933.
The Gamble Gets Going

As their bootlegging business continued to flourish, the Maceos were in the driver’s seat of a burgeoning enterprise. Galveston was a large port and the beach-lined island was a popular tourist destination. The historic Hotel Galvez, which is still in operation and where Sam lived for a time in the penthouse suite, was a symbol of luxury on the coast of the Lone Star State. Gambling was popular with many underground casinos catering to those with a thirst to wager and money to gamble.

At one point, the Maceo brothers knew they had to get in on the action. In 1923, the two men made their first entrance into this world with the opening of the Chop Suey at the Corner of 21st Street and Seawall Boulevard. Renamed Maceo’s Grotto three years later, the place was shut down for illegal gambling in 1928 and then damaged by a storm in 1932. After the storm, the brothers rebuilt and added an “Oriental” theme and rechristened the club the Sui Jen. A decade later, a more "South Seas" theme was added and the Balinese Room was unveiled.

The Balinese Room would become the best known of Galveston’s many gambling destinations. With brilliant views of the beach and Gulf of Mexico, the Balinese Room sat on a pier, which extended 600 feet out into the water – and would soon become a Galveston hot spot. As vacationers pitched their beach umbrellas in the mocha-colored sand along the beach and soaked up the sun, blackjack hands were being dealt and roulette wheels spinning only feet away in the Balinese.

“It always had a guard posted at the front entrance to screen the patrons and issue membership cards to those who they wanted to enter and to warn of unwanted visitors,” writes Frank Chalifant in his book Galveston: Island of Chance, which focuses on the island’s gambling past and casino chips and collectibles from the era. “The long pier that isolated the Balinese Room from Seawall Boulevard became known as ‘The Ranger Run.’ By the time law enforcement officers reached the restaurant and the windowless back gambling room, the illegal paraphernalia had been hidden.”

More at link above.
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Online catfish1957

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2018, 10:43:56 PM »
I'm not sure what I think about this.  But, then I'm not a gambler.

Me neither, but I bet there are 2 or 3 casinos in the Lake Charles area sh__ing in their pants right now.  They sank a ton of cash in these, and a majority of their business comes from Houston and Beaumont areas.
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Offline The Ghost

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2018, 10:49:57 PM »
Me neither, but I bet there are 2 or 3 casinos in the Lake Charles area sh__ing in their pants right now.  They sank a ton of cash in these, and a majority of their business comes from Houston and Beaumont areas.

Don't forget about Winstar on the OK side of I-35
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Online Elderberry

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2018, 08:14:39 AM »
And there's Naskila at Livingston.
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Offline Freya

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2018, 08:47:13 AM »
I'm not sure what I think about this.  But, then I'm not a gambler.

I’m not a gambler either, but when the powerball gets big I confess I buy a ticket. I also buy one scratch off a week.


The last time I was at Atlantic City with the machines was over twenty years ago, I put in ten dollars and walk away when it’s gone. I’ve never played card table games unless you count playing solitaire with my parents or on my iPhone. And that isn’t for money.
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Online catfish1957

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2018, 08:57:44 AM »
I’m not a gambler either, but when the powerball gets big I confess I buy a ticket. I also buy one scratch off a week.


The last time I was at Atlantic City with the machines was over twenty years ago, I put in ten dollars and walk away when it’s gone. I’ve never played card table games unless you count playing solitaire with my parents or on my iPhone. And that isn’t for money.

Things have really changed in 50 years ago.  When I was a child, gambling, casinos, etc. were considered damnable vices, and churches railed heavily against its spread.

Nowdays?  LOL.  I saw a sign the other day at a church advertising a planned shuttle trip to one of the Louisiana casinos.
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Online Elderberry

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2018, 09:04:12 AM »
I played so much poker when I was in the Navy that once I returned to civvy life I had no desire to gamble.

I don't even play the lotteries.
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Offline jpsb

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2018, 09:30:40 AM »
If it passes I will make a ton of money since I own prime water front on Galveston bay in San Leon.

Offline Freya

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2018, 09:47:42 AM »
Am I a horrible person if Vegas is on my bucket list?
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Offline mrpotatohead

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2018, 09:48:15 AM »
I played so much poker when I was in the Navy that once I returned to civvy life I had no desire to gamble.

I don't even play the lotteries.
My dad was the same way.....
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Offline mrpotatohead

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2018, 09:49:00 AM »
Am I a horrible person if Vegas is on my bucket list?
Vegas is kind of on my bucket list as well.  Not really to gamble, but just to see the sights.
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Online Elderberry

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2018, 09:51:59 AM »
If it passes I will make a ton of money since I own prime water front on Galveston bay in San Leon.

A great spot!  We used to love starting out the day by putting in at the Spillway and waterskiing along your shoreline before the wind picked up.
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Offline Sanguine

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2018, 09:54:54 AM »
Am I a horrible person if Vegas is on my bucket list?

You are not.  I've been several times, once for my bucket list and several times to conferences.  I had a great time exploring and seeing the sights.  Do I want to go back now?  No, not really, but I'm glad I went.
Cui bono?

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Offline berdie

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2018, 05:00:08 PM »
Am I a horrible person if Vegas is on my bucket list?


Fly in at night @Freya . It will be the best part of the trip. Day time kind of looses the luster.

Offline berdie

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2018, 05:01:38 PM »
I'm not sure what I think about this.  But, then I'm not a gambler.


I'll be surprised if anything comes of this.

Offline the_doc

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2018, 05:05:44 PM »
I'm not sure what I think about this.  But, then I'm not a gambler.

Me neither.  I like to remember what Adam Smith said about London's lottery in his own day:  (paraphrasing) "If you want to lose your money, buy a lottery ticket.  If you want to double your odds of losing your money, buy two of them."

Offline Freya

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2018, 06:50:55 PM »

Fly in at night @Freya . It will be the best part of the trip. Day time kind of looses the luster.
u

My parents went in the 50s and saw the rat pack. Drool.
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Offline Victoria33

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2018, 07:21:52 PM »
I’m not a gambler either, but when the powerball gets big I confess I buy a ticket. I also buy one scratch off a week.
@Freya

Went to casino two weeks ago, went with $120, came home with $913.  That is not unusual - look for certain type machines.
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Offline IsailedawayfromFR

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2018, 08:48:24 PM »
We should never allow gambling within Texas.

I lived in Louisiana when it was allowed for the first time there and it has been nothing but a pariah on moralities.  Heck, the Governor went to the federal penitentiary for receiving bribes from Eddie Debartolo for rights to award one of the casinos to him.

And the Gulf Coast of Mississippi used to be a beautiful peaceful place until the casinos moved in with the crime and pricey real estate prices.

Texans who go to Oklahoma or Louisiana to gamble are simply paying a voluntary tax for the privilege.  The rest of us choose not to pay it.  Let those revenues go to the other states, as it is simply not worth the price we will pay.
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Offline Freya

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Re: Could casino gambling become a reality in Houston and Galveston?
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2018, 08:58:14 PM »
@Freya

Went to casino two weeks ago, went with $120, came home with $913.  That is not unusual - look for certain type machines.


@Victoria33 you have to come to AC with hubby or I have to come to Texas next summer.
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