Texan Racetracks Call for Public Vote on Casino Gambling
While the Texas Legislature may not meet this year, it doesn’t mean that gambling advocates are not putting pressure on state lawmakers to legalize casinos in the state. Advocates are asking for lawmakers to hold a public vote on the issue and claim that casino gambling would boost the state’s economy.The horse racing industry is leading the fight for legalized casino gambling in Texas. Texas’ racetracks are being hurt by more lucrative tracks in neighboring state where casino gambling is allowed.
The CEO of Sam Houston RacePark, Andrea Young, explained that other states are able to use gaming revenues to offer bigger winning purses at racetracks.
Young said that “Quality horses are leaving Texas, along with the breeders and the farms, and the whole thing trickles down to even the guy that supplies the hay.”
Young says that the biggest impact is on jobs and economic growth; she believes that around 75,000 new jobs could be created if slot machines were to be allowed at racetracks.
Texas is one of just ten states that don’t allow casino gambling. Young says that a survey found that 80% of Texans want the right to vote on the issue, however, she remains skeptical that it will happen.