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Posts Tagged ‘casinos’

Just a reminder that “more gambling” does not necessarily mean “more revenue”

If Atlantic City can go bust… The winning streak has run cold for Atlantic City, N.J. Earlier this week, the upscale Revel Casino Hotel announced it will close, bringing the total number of casinos in the city expected to close by the end of the year to four. Thousands of workers are confronting unemployment. The […]

Pot polling

Our favorite pollsters aren’t optimistic about pot legalization despite some good looking poll numbers for it. In the February 2014 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, we asked respondents for their opinions on marijuana possession and gave them four options to choose from: “marijuana possession should not be legal under any circumstances;” “marijuana possession should be […]

We’ll always have Kinky

Like cicadas on a four-year cycle, he keeps coming back. Kinky Friedman doesn’t know if he’s ready to jump back into Texas politics. But the cigar-chewing humorist and musician — known for the black attire and cowboy hats he normally dons — said he may soon create an exploratory committee to help him decide whether […]

A cautionary tale about expanded gambling

Wonkblog: Earlier this week, Delaware’s casinos got a surprise windfall. Just days after saying no to tax breaks, Gov. Jack Markell (D) proposed that $8 million of the state’s budget surplus be distributed amongst its three struggling establishments, to forestall the layoffs that at least one of them had threatened. That would seem to defeat […]

Astrodome-palooza

In case you aren’t completely full of my opining on the Astrodome and its possible fate, I was the author of a op-ed in the Sunday Chron on the subject. It’s kind of the Reader’s Digest version of the things I’ve been saying here, so if you don’t click over you won’t miss anything new […]

That’ll just about do it for gambling this session

Sen. Carona calls the chances “slim”, but it sounds like slim just left town to me. [Sen. John] Carona, chairman of the Senate’s Business and Commerce Committee, said last week he expected to vote his sweeping gambling bill out of his committee Tuesday. But the morning committee hearing came and went, and Carona declined to […]

More on the potential Coushatta casino

The Houston Press cover story from last week is about the Alabama-Coushatta tribe’s efforts to get a casino again. It covers a lot of the same ground as that Chron story I blogged about on Sunday, but it also reminds us of a very sordid aspect of the original casino and why it was closed. […]

Senate to consider expanded gambling

I didn’t really take it seriously when I heard that Sen. John Carona had filed his own gambling expansion legislation, but it seems it’s got some traction. A proposal from Dallas Republican Sen. John Carona would establish a commission that licenses 21 casinos throughout the state, including three mega-resorts in Bexar, Dallas and Tarrant counties […]

The federal option for gambling expansion in Texas

There is a way to expand gambling in Texas without going through the Legislature. For decades the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe fought hard to make the federal government acknowledge that it illegally developed more than 5 million acres of the tribe’s aboriginal land. The East Texas tribe eventually won when a court said Congress owed the tribe […]

Gambling interests narrow their focus

This is usually how it goes. Let Texans Decide, a pro-gambling organization that is fronted by former state Sen. John Montford, was aligned at the beginning of the 2013 legislative session with big casino interests in a call for full-scale casino gambling in Texas, whether at horse and dog tracks or at yet-to-be-built destination resort […]

It may not matter where the casinos are

I don’t know if the gambling industry will finally gain traction in their effort to legally expand operations in Texas, but I do wonder if they’re fighting the last war and missing out on what’s happening now elsewhere in the country. Silicon Valley is betting that online gambling is its next billion-dollar business, with developers […]

Gambling has always polled well

In addition to their self-reported efforts to work together, the pro-gambling expansion forces have released a poll showing public sentiment on their side. A poll paid for by Let Texans Decide, a pro-gambling group made up of interests that wanted slot machines at racetracks last session, asked 1,001 registered voters in Texas: “Regardless of your […]

One big happy pro-gambling expansion family

If the pro-gambling forces in the state all join hands and agree to work together, will this finally be the year that gambling expansion gets a vote? Maybe. John Montford, chairman of Let Texans Decide, a coalition of gaming companies, track operators, trade groups and others who want Texas to legalize casinos, has met with […]

Time once again to talk about expanded gambling

There’s a legislative session coming up, right? That can only mean one thing: A new effort to expand gambling in Texas. Track and gaming interests say voters should be allowed to decide whether to give Texas a shot at the benefits of $2.5 billion they say is wagered in surrounding states annually by Texans. “They […]

More on the economic effect of casinos

I’m just noting this for the record, since I am sure that gambling expansion will come up again in The Lege this spring. Melissa Kearney, an economist at the University of Maryland, released a literature review in 2005 summarizing work on gambling done to date. A study by Maryland’s William Evans and Julie Topoleski that […]

Baccarat

I’m fascinated by this story. Hours after a judge ordered the Golden Nugget Atlantic City to let gamblers cash in nearly $1 million worth of chips they won in a card game where the decks were unshuffled, the casino’s owner overruled his lawyers Friday and agreed to make the payments. The judge’s decision drew an […]

Anti-tax zealots plump for casinos

Gambling yes! Grover Norquist, the nation’s most prominent anti-tax crusader, wrote a letter last week to Texas legislators to call for expanded gambling. “In light of the adverse economic impact that higher taxes would have, it is imperative that lawmakers consider all other options for balancing the state’s budget,” Norquist wrote. “There are a number […]

Casinos expanding nationally

I have no idea what the political or budgetary climate will be like for the gambling industry here in Texas when the Lege next convenes in 2013, but they have been gaining a lot of ground elsewhere in the country. States have embraced casinos, after years of trepidation about their societal costs, for two simple […]

We do have casino gambling in Texas

With all the talk about slot machines at horse racing tracks and legalized casinos, it’s easy to forget that there already is one legal casino in Texas. As the busloads of seniors and other low rollers pulled in from San Antonio for a day of gaming at the Lucky Eagle Casino, demolition crews were busy […]

States looking at online gambling

Until the economy returns to the point where states aren’t completely strapped for revenue, I expect them to look at all possible sources of new money. It’s an idea gaining currency around the country: virtual gambling as part of the antidote to local budget woes. The District of Columbia is the first to legalize it, […]

Is there still a chance gambling legislation can pass the Senate?

All signs still point to “no” if you ask me, but gambling legislation never goes quietly so it might look otherwise on the surface. The quiet formation of a special Texas Senate subcommittee to consider a controversial casino gambling resolution has sparked a behind-the-scenes fight that could affect passage of the state budget and school […]

Some gambling advances in the House

It’s probably too little too late, but you never know. A Texas House committee surprised the casino lobby Friday night when it voted out legislation that would allow video lottery terminals — slot machines — at state racetracks and Indian reservations. The casinos were left behind. Casino interests wanted any legislation approved by the House […]

House says it may be close to approving expanded gambling

This would be as far as they’ve gotten in recent sessions. Rep. Mike “Tuffy” Hamilton, R-Mauriceville, who chairs the Licensing and Administrative Procedures committee, said he is close to having enough votes to pass his ever-morphing gambling bill. As Hamilton seeks to gather a comfortable number of “aye” votes, he and his committee members have […]

Gambling interests tout job creation benefits

From the inbox: REPORT OUTLINES 77.5K JOBS BY REGION, SECTOR CREATED BY SLOTS BILL Confirms Texans Continue To Spend Billions Gaming in Neighboring States AUSTIN, Texas – Win For Texas released a new report today outlining the specific regions and sectors of the 77,500 new, permanent jobs that will be created when slots are allowed […]

Horse racing folks feeling good about gambling’s chances this time

They always say that, but maybe this time they’re right. The chief executive officer at Retama Park expressed cautious optimism Thursday that the state could one day allow slot machines at horse racetracks, a move that has long been deemed as critical to the financial well-being of a struggling industry in Texas. Retama CEO Bryan […]

Legislation to allow slot machines filed

Fresh from the inbox: BI-PARTISAN LEGISLATION FILED TO ALLOW STATEWIDE VOTE ON SLOTS AT TEXAS TRACKS, INDIAN RESERVATIONS AUSTIN, Texas — Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) and Texas State Representative Beverly Woolley (R-Houston) filed legislation today to allow Texas voters to decide whether to allow slot machines at existing horse and greyhound tracks […]

Another story analyzing gambling’s odds in the Lege

I have three things to say about this story. [W]ith a budget crisis looming — and funding to public education, health care and other state services on the chopping block — gambling opponents aren’t taking any chances. Both sides have said legalizing gambling could generate at least $1 billion in state revenue, which lawmakers could […]

The gambling industry keeps trying

I’m not sure how successful an approach this will be, but I guess it’s better than nothing. Expanding gaming requires a vote of two-thirds of the legislature, with voters getting the final say. A new poll done for the Chronicle and the state’s other major newspapers found 60 percent favored an expansion of gaming. Expanding […]

Expanded gambling: Still doomed

The Dallas Morning News does a little checking, and the math isn’t good for gambling fans. The Dallas Morning News, canvassing all lawmakers, found that expanded gambling lacks the votes, mostly because of objections to social ills and new tax revenue being too far off to help now. The results may indicate that the Legislature, […]

Gambling proponents still optimistic for some reason

The conventional wisdom, to which I subscribe, says that the results on this election are bad news for proponents of expanded gambling. One reason for this is that the Republican wave means more socially conservative members. Gambling proponents are doing their best to put a smiley face on their prospects in the new Lege in […]

More on SHRP’s investment partner

I mentioned before that Sam Houston Race Park is getting an investor that will help them with the push to expand gambling in Texas. Here’s some more about the investor and the push. The Philadelphia-area company [Penn National] is, at least, expert at shoehorning electronic gaming into existing race tracks. It has a glowing record […]

Casinos look to the Internet

Interesting. Many of the country’s largest casinos, long opposed to gambling games like poker on the Internet, are now having second thoughts. Although online gambling is popular with millions of Americans, it is illegal in the United States, and the casino industry has considered it a threat. But a trade group that represents major casinos […]

Interview with State Sen. Rodney Ellis

We move from the House to the Senate this week for conversations with the Democratic Senate delegation of Harris County. First up is State Sen. Rodney Ellis, who served three terms on Houston City Council in District D before being elected to represent SD13 in 1990. Ellis has championed many causes in his time in […]

The limits of gambling

People who like to gamble have a lot more options available to them than they used to. The Marcuses’ three-day pilgrimage had taken them across a region suddenly awash in slot parlors and Las Vegas-style casinos, what with New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania getting in on the action. And the competition between […]