Urban Fold

Galveston's Gamble

City leaders in Galveston looking for ways to recover from Hurricane Ike turn to an old staple of the local economy: gambling.

"Casino gambling is increasingly seen by some as a way to revive this island city, which is reeling from Hurricane Ike and 3,000 layoffs by its largest employer.

The Strand Merchants Association believes gambling would bring in tourists with more money who would patronize the downtown historical area shops, many still struggling to reopen after being inundated with as much as 10 feet of storm water Sept. 13.

Opponents fear casinos would resurrect an era when Galveston was infamous for its gambling, bordellos and corrupt public officials.

The only problem is that the city charter has a provision prohibiting a vote on casino gambling until the Legislature makes it legal.

The charter provision was approved after Galveston voters rejected casino gambling in three referendums in the 1980s by wide margins.

Unless the charter is amended, the City Council can do little more than pass a resolution asking the Legislature to legalize casino gambling on the island."

Full Story: Casinos the answer to Galveston's woes?

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