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Senators to Legalize Casinos and Slot Machines in Texas for School Financial Aid

March 8, 2007, Senators Rodney Ellis and John Carona, Republicans from Dallas, are pushing for a constitutional amendment that will allow resort casinos. These can contain different games like slot machines in Texas and will also allow video lottery terminals, VLT's more commonly known as slot machines at the state's race tracks.

Both Senators are estimating that about $3.5 billion to $4 billion will be produced yearly for the state, with about $1 billion allotted for Texas Grants and other educational purposes. Senator Ellis and Carona said that the proposed constitutional amendment will need about 2/3 approval of the legislature before being put into ballot for voter approval.

Although the number of casinos could change in the future, the proposal by the 2 senators will allow about 7 casinos in the urban areas of the state, 2 casinos in the gulf and 3 casinos which the Texas Gaming Commission still has to determine. The proposal will also allow video lottery machines in 8 racing tracks, 5 horse racing tracks and 3 dog tracks.

Proposals to widen gambling in Texas have been unsuccessful in the past, until the legislators have had to face a wide budget deficit. The legislation needs to generate about $14.3 billion over the next 2 years.

Rep. Warren Chisum, a Republican from Pampa said that a higher federal wage could cost Texas about $300 million so the added money will certainly be helpful. Critics of the gambling expansion commented that the plan will only bring a lot of problems like gambling addiction.

Nonetheless, supporters asserted that Texans already play slots and have access to gambling in other states, so it is as if the planned expansion will create added problems without the profits that go with it.


Sunday, 01 April 2007
Theo Evans