By Duane Stuart, Backgate Website
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.)
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.