The Texas Permanent School Fund recently increased its shares in Wynn Resorts by 5% after purchasing 697 shares. The fund now owns a total of 14,565 shares.
Two months earlier, billionaire and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta also increased his Wynn holdings. He is now the second-largest shareholder after Elaine Wynn. Fertitta owns 6.1% of overall shares.
There are no direct links between the two purchases. The Texas Permanent School Fund (TPSF), however, has been actively investing in companies that own casinos and is likely following Fertitta’s investment path.
TPSF was created to benefit public education
Commercial and online casinos in Texas are illegal. Efforts to change that have failed at the Texas Capitol in the past. Two pieces of casino legislation are up for debate in the current session of the Texas Legislature, but both face a steep climb to passage.
Should gambling in Texas become legal, it is likely TPSF will want to invest in casinos within the state. Many states contribute gambling revenue to public education, so legalizing gambling in Texas could be very profitable for TPSF.
Origins of the TPSF
In 1854, the Texas Legislature created the Permanent School Fund to grow public education in the state. Years later, in 1876, the Texas Constitution made it mandatory that proceeds from selling certain pieces of land go to the fund.
The fund grew over time, and, eventually, the TPSF was formed in December 2021 by the Texas State Board of Education. It has now become a $56 billion public endowment of the state.
Each school district in Texas receives a base amount of $6,160 per student every year. Funding is determined by how many students are enrolled in each school and average daily attendance.
In the 2022 fiscal year, the TPSF contributed $2.1 billion to public education.
Investments in casino companies contribute to funding TPSF
The TPSF has shares in many companies involved in the casino industry. The latest increase in shares of Wynn Resorts is a small part of its portfolio.
Here is a look at some of the gaming companies that TPSF owns shares in:
- Accel Entertainment Inc.
- Boyd Gaming Group
- Caesars Entertainment Inc
- Las Vegas Sands Corp.
- MGM Resorts International
- Monarch Casino & Resort Inc
- Penn Entertainment Inc.
- Wynn Resorts Ltd.
The majority of these companies own casinos in Las Vegas. One of the companies is Las Vegas Sands Corp. It launched a $2 million PAC to support the legalization of casinos in Texas. The PAC has made and will continue to make donations to Texas political leaders along with lobbying at the Capitol.