It’s not very bright right now.
The Texas Racing Commission faced a packed house Friday in the enclosed confines of the Founder’s Room at Sam Houston Rack Park. They heard a tale of woe from an industry in rapid decline, a decline precipitated by a close escape of Texas dollars flowing across the Sabine and Red rivers to horse tracks with a racino attached.
You can imagine what they believe the solution to their woes is. Look, I’m not a horse racing enthusiast. The one only time in my life I’ve been to a racetrack was 1988 at Bandera Downs, which was back before you could place a bet on a race. But I sure do remember being told that allowing bets on races would be a financial windfall for the state. It’s primarily because of that that I remain skeptical about the claims now being made by “racino” proponents; that is, proponents of allowing video lottery terminals – slot machines – at racetracks. I do believe that will draw more people to the tracks, but I don’t see how it’s going to make more people interested in horse racing, and because of that I have doubts about its long-term viability. If the races themselves aren’t drawing people in, what’s to keep them from getting drawn away by some other shiny new object later? Anyway, this is an interesting story about something I generally pay little attention to, so check it out. Thanks to Hair Balls for the link.