Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Could the Texas budget head back into the black if gambling becomes a reality ?

By Duane Stuart, Backgate Website 

Gambling bills are once again up for negotiation in Austin. Could a measure to allow a vote on the issue be practical ?News polls state 80% of Texans are said to be in favor of a vote on the issue. Maybe it's just the influx of revenue Texas needs to keep legislators from cutting public funds in the future. The Austin American Statesman put out these stats about potential benefits of gambling in Texas;

"The slots group said that slot machines at 13 tracks would generate more than $3 billion a year in revenue. At the group’s proposed tax rate of 30 percent, the taxes coming into the state would be about $921 million a year by 2013.

And the Texas Gaming Association, which is promoting “destination resort casinos,” said the measure it is supporting — which would allow for eight casinos and eight licenses for slot machines at tracks — would generate $6.6 billion a year in revenue for a total of $1.3 billion in annual state taxes, according to its report. (Under the tax rates outlined in the casino bill, casinos would generate $771 million a year and slots would bring in $515 million annually when everything is up and running.)

The fiscal notes also indicate that each measure would require the addition of state workers. If the casino measure passes, the state would need to hire 223 employees. The slots bill, if passed, would lead to the creation of 22.3 jobs, the budget board said. "

First, let’s dispense with a common misconception: The Texas Legislature cannot simply pass a bill that would legalize casino gambling in our fair state. Only a majority of registered Texas voters can do that. Oh, it’s not as if the Legislature isn’t involved, and that’s why you’ve still not had your say.
What the Legislature must pass — by two-thirds majorities in the Senate and House — is a constitutional amendment that then goes before voters.

Gov. Rick Perry could not get between you and that vote, a good thing since he has consistently opposed adding casinos to Texas’ otherwise-pro-business palette even though he seems to not have issue with cutting public funds that may shut down the states most important agencies. Guess we will see which way it all goes.

1 comment:

  1. I live close to the border of La. and it always makes me wonder why Tx.refuses to make gambling legal.It would bring in sooooo much money and jobs.