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Posts Tagged ‘racetracks’

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

The racetracks have given up on gambling for this session

Here’s a clear answer for those of you who may have been holding out some hope for an expansion of gambling. Retama Park officials have all but lost hope that lawmakers will act before the end of the regular legislative session to let voters decide whether to legalize slot machines at state racetracks. While a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Retama Park

Here’s another story about another horse racing track – Retama Park, which is northeast of San Antonio in Selma – hoping to hit the jackpot (as it were) with slot machines. The bit that interests me is this: If slots pass, [Retama CEO Byron] Brown envisions a massive transformation at Retama with an investment of […]

The state of horse racing in Texas

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 […]

Gambling industry support

The DMN has an interesting story about gambling industry players making large campaign finance contributions, but there’s some context missing. A review by The Dallas Morning News of contributions since last July shows horse track interests have poured more than $4.2 million into campaigns and special committees. That would average about $23,000 per lawmaker in […]

Will the racetracks and the casinos work together?

At the very end of this Trib story about more legislative hearings on gambling expansion comes this tidbit: The Win for Texas group — which includes current racetrack owners who’d like to add slot machines and other games to their facilities — is touting that updated study on the “Economic and Tax Revenue Impact of […]

LSG hearing on expanded gambling

The Legislative Study Group held a hearing on Wednesday to start the discussion about the various proposals for expanded gambling in Texas that will be brought to the Lege next year. Racetrack and casino interests that want to expand Texas gambling dangled promises of new tax revenue before lawmakers Wednesday, but faced tough, skeptical questions […]

Here come the bingo interests

In the discussion of expanded gambling so far, I’ve spoken of two potentially competing interests, casinos and racetracks. Turns out there’s a third player in the game, and they’re not about to be left behind: Bingo interests. Steve Bresnen, who represents bingo halls as a lobbyist for the Bingo Interest Group, said charitable bingo groups […]

Obstacles to expanded gambling

Burka lays out the reasons why expanded gambling will have a tough road ahead in the Lege next year, even as budget writers openly speculate about it, and concludes it won’t happen. I think the situation is more fluid than he gives it credit for, but I definitely agree that competing interests between the racetrack […]

Rodney Ellis makes the case for expanded gambling

Via the Trib, here’s State Sen. Rodney Ellis on why he will once again carry a bill to expand gambling in Texas: For what it’s worth, the “People are already gambling, why not let them do it here where we can get some revenue from it” argument is the most persuasive to me. It’s not […]

And in case you were wondering about gambling

And to complete this impromptu three-parter about the state’s budget situation, we ask the question “What about gambling?” Lawmakers had been warned to expect a shortfall of at least $11 billion in the next two-year budget period. But Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, on Tuesday put the gap at $18 billion — and said lawmakers […]

The pitch from the gambling industry

We know that the gambling industry, which never sleeps, has been busy preparing for the next legislative session. The Trib gives us an overview of their pitch, about which I’m sure you’ll be hearing plenty more in the coming months. Most of this is familiar territory, so let me just zoom in on two points. […]

The gambling industry is ready for the next legislative session

Bad budget times are fertile ground for those who want to see an expansion of gambling in Texas. “We are planning to lay out our case again to the Legislature,” said Duane Galligher, a spokesman for the Texas Gaming Association, which led the push to bring Las Vegas-style casino gambling to the state during the […]

White: No expansion of gambling

I’m okay with this. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White said today he does not support the legalization of slot machines and does not think Texas should legalize casinos across the state. “I don’t think the State of Texas should be promoting gambling and something for nothing,” White said. White said he does not want to […]

How are you going to balance the budget?

If you’re thinking that the candidates for Governor are being a bit vague about how they’re going to deal with the looming budget shortfall, you’re not alone. Texas expects a shortfall of at least $12 billion when lawmakers meet to write the next budget, but major candidates for governor have few specifics on how they […]

One step closer to expanded gambling in Texas?

Maybe, though I’m not sure how much closer this really gets us. [The] Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma is poised to take possession of an existing horse racing track in Grand Prairie. The tribe runs one of the biggest Indian casinos in the United States, just across the Texas border. Gambling proponents believe the tribe may […]

Poker bill dies

Last night at midnight was the first major deadline in the House. Any bill that had not been passed on second reading was officially dead for the session, though some may get reincarnated as amendments to already-approved bills. About three quarters of the 5000 bills filed in the House suffered this fate, including some high […]