PORT ARTHUR —
With news of the Pleasure Island golf course and country club reopening sometime in 2013, discussions of allowing gambling along the state coast have resurfaced.
Though Southeast Texas counties must compete with the business and tourism attracted by casinos in Louisiana, Williams said “it would be a big hill to climb” to consider legalizing gambling.
“I have never supported gambling in Texas,” he said. “I think you could probably get it through the senate, but I don’t think there’s anyway you could get it through the house.”
Williams did say he fully supports an expansion for the Sabine-Neches Waterway, however, as it would be a huge boost to the state and national economy.
The potentially $1 billion project has been discussed by local officials for months, and the Army Corps of Engineers recently approved a 14-year long report on the expansion.
The channel would be expanded from 40 feet deep and 64 miles long to 48 feet deep and 77 miles long after dredging that would take about 15 years to complete, according to a recent News article. The project would create about 2,100 yearly jobs.
“People don’t realize how important the Sabine-Neches complex is to the nation’s economy,” Williams said. “I’ll be supportive of that. I’m not sure that’s something we’re going to address directly, but we’ll see.”
Williams said the federal approval would be the biggest step to take in order to expand the channel, but he would be “ready to go to work as soon as that’s done.”