When American states are suffering through economic hardship there’s always one industry pointed at to save the day, the gaming industry. Some states, like Pennsylvania and Oklahoma have reaped the benefits of gambling expansion, others remain entangled in messy red tape or continuously have gambling proposals shot down.
Texas lawmakers are trying to make gambling the next big thing in the southern state. State Rep Carol Alvarado has proposed bill HJR28.
The bill is a constitutional amendment requiring the legislature to establish a state gaming commission and to authorize and provide for the regulation of gaming conducted at certain locations in the state. The bill authorizes federally recognized Indian tribes to conduct gaming on certain Indian lands, and call for the governor to call the legislature into special session to consider gaming legislation.
The bill will go before the voters in a constitutional amendment election to decide whether gambling in the state should be expanded.
The facts are clear, the Texas Tribune reports, “Texans spend approximately $4 billion each year in casinos in Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Nevada,” said Jack Pratt, chairman of the Texas Gaming Association. A report by the association showed that Texas could see $1.3 billion annually in tax revenue and nearly 40,000 new jobs if gaming is expanded.
Right now for Texans to gamble to their heart’s desire they have to go to Oklahoma, Louisiana or New Mexico or some other state, so that’s a huge chunk of money leaving the state annually.
Of course, the obvious observation is that if Texans were allowed to gamble online they wouldn’t even need to leave their homes, much less the state… You have to crawl before you walk I suppose.