A proposed bill in the Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee would allow casino gambling in the state.
The committee heard testimony on a plan to bring 21 casinos to Texas and rebuild the horse-racing industry.
The bill was written by Dallas Republican John Carona, negotiating with casino and racetrack groups.
Supporters of the bill claim the casinos would bring 75,000 jobs, and that Texans spend $3 billion to gamble outside the state.
Texas is one of only ten states that do not allow at least a limited amount of casino gambling. Religious and some liberal groups are expected to fight the measure.