Posts Tagged ‘Let Texans Decide’

February 12, 2013

Numbers Game

Study shows huge support among conservatives for gambling choice in Texas

Eff the Tea Party … my dream is someday for a P-Party … because really, we all know it, Poker is more than just a game … it’s a belief system, a religion if you will … an outlook on life and cards that transcends everything we do. And we all remember from our days playing Party Poker (with accounts funded by Netteller) that this game we play, this recurring exchange of virtual currency with two cards yet to come, is the KEY to a bustling economy and/or world peace!

Among registered voters, 76% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats say they gamble. Here's a look at the states that get their spend. Destinations to which Texans have travelled to visit a casino include.

76% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats say they gamble, either in Texas or another state.

OK, ok … before I get ahead of myself and any poker relevancy, there’s a singular issue at hand in Texas right now … and it’s about money, civil rights, and freedom — all part of a message that seems to resonate with an electorate that may or may not be currently stockpiling guns. But first they need some data to show what we all have known to be true deep down inside. Thus, pro-gambling reformers in Texas are championing a new study that reveals Texans — GOP primary voters in particular — overwhelmingly support whatever it is that might-could allow for better game selection closer to home.

Here’s the report. (More about the data and methodology here.) And below is a summary of the semi-scientific study that essentially challenges GOP lawmakers who might be thinking about roadblocks to go ahead … press your luck and fall on the side of ignoring the will and interest of an engaged supermajority.

More…

Posted by at 5:58 pm

January 29, 2013

Texas Sends $1 Billion Annually to Louisiana

Group says time to stop funding neighbor's social and infrastructure improvement

The Super Bowl is coming up in New Orleans … should be good for the Harrah’s casino there, even without sports betting.

Check it out … the Louisiana edition of the Let Texans Decide campaign … I’d say just in time for the Big Game, but I think for Louisiana — not just in New Orleans but also from Shreveport to Lake Charles — its not so much about majillions being wagered on San Francisco vs. Baltimore … it’s more about the recreational spend going across state lines on any given weekend.

Posted by at 7:46 am

January 23, 2013

Giddy Up?

Texans call for end to casino bussing

Check it out … from the good folks at Let Texans Decide …

Not to cause trouble, and I could be off-base on this because, you know, I’ve been living in poker exile in Nevada for many years now … but I’m pretty sure that’s an Oklahoma accent from the lady in the video. Or maybe that’s just the sound of far North Texas twang these days? Hmm, I suppose someone’s gotta pay for those bus rides …

But linguistic shifts aside … Oklahoma, and her sovereign tribal nations within, continues to receive the benefits of an entire industry that their neighbors just a few miles away aren’t allowed to have.

(And yet if there are indeed costs to gambling, social or otherwise, those in most cases come back to Texas!)

Posted by at 12:58 pm

November 28, 2012

Texas: Casino Gaming Should Be Our Choice

It's time to amend the state Constitution to give voters a proper say


Dave Nalle

OP-ED

Every legislative session, the issue of expanding gaming comes up for consideration, and every session it becomes the target of inflammatory rhetoric, propaganda campaigns, and back and forth struggles among different factions until it stalls somewhere in the legislative process.

A dozen or more different bills may be offered, along with polls, sermons, editorials and heated testimony. But historically, gaming gets everything except the one thing that the people of Texas deserve — a chance for a statewide public vote on the issue.

As Texans, we can decide for ourselves how we spend our time and money. We like big sporting events, such as the Cotton Bowl and NASCAR. We like destination vacation attractions, such as the River Walk, SeaWorld and Moody Gardens. We like our fairs and rodeos and town festivals.

Some think legislators are under too much pressure from different interest groups to act objectively. But legislators don’t have to be for gaming to support a vote of the people.

We spend a lot of money on entertainment, and if what we want isn’t available here in Texas, we’re willing to travel to get it. With our relatively strong economy, our prosperity spills over into neighboring states, and we don’t spend that money grudgingly, even if we’d rather spend it closer to home.

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Posted by at 7:00 am

October 14, 2012

Let Texans Answer Our Own Gambling Question

Oklahoma has been outplaying the Lone Star State for too long


John T. Montford

OP-ED

Our state was founded by men and women who exhibited fierce independence and self-determination. These values are manifested in our limited approach to state government and the belief that if you have a dream or an idea, Texas’ friendly business climate will provide the fertile ground to grow it. Over the past few years, Texas has been the national leader in job growth and economic development. Folks are flocking to Texas from other states with their dreams in tow. Unfortunately, there is one issue where we’re being outsmarted by our neighbors.

Anyone who has read the Austin American-Statesman lately knows illegal gaming has become a big industry in Texas. We have closed our eyes and allowed illegal “eight-liners” to run rampant across Texas – some within just a few miles of our Capitol. The issue is not whether Texans are gambling — they are — but whether we will reap the economic benefits of it.

Expanded gaming is by no means a cure-all fix, and no one is proposing a casino on every corner, but it’s a private enterprise with proven economic results without the need for government subsidies or handouts.

Each year our fellow Texans spend more than $2.5 billion in strategically placed, just-across-the-border gaming facilities in Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. That includes $1 billion in Oklahoma, alone. Simply put, Texans are creating jobs and paying for schools, firefighters and other infrastructure needs across our borders. Texas is getting fleeced by our neighbors. I firmly believe that bringing back the billions of dollars that are leaving Texas and going to our neighbor states is a service to our state. The Legislature should let us vote to stop it.

I’m not alone in this belief. Poll after poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Texas voters, regardless of political party or geographic region, believe that Texans are smart enough to decide this issue. For those who believe that gambling is morally wrong, I respectfully ask: Doesn’t it make more sense to regulate an activity that good Texans are already doing in huge numbers?

Our willful blindness on this issue has also devastated the homegrown Texas horse industry. Texas should be the national epicenter of ranching and agriculture but the thoroughbred and quarter horse breeders have all but left the state for greener pastures in states where purses are enhanced with gaming proceeds. We can’t even play Texas Hold ’em at our racetracks, while a once proud part of our ranching and agricultural heritage crumbles.

The potential benefits to our economy are huge. Depending on the specifics, expanded gaming could create 75,000 permanent jobs in 40 different sectors of the economy, and it would bring several billion dollars in economic development to Texas. Gaming can be a profitable industry no different than manufacturing, agriculture, energy or technology, that will allow Texas to expand its tax base and contribute toward our needs — whether it is schools, water resources or property tax relief. Expanded gaming is by no means a cure-all fix, and no one is proposing a casino on every corner, but it’s a private enterprise with proven economic results without the need for government subsidies or handouts.

The numbers appeal to the part of me that spent many sleepless nights at the Capitol wrangling and squeezing the state budget for every last dollar and wondering how to grow our economy without raising taxes. But guess what? The gaming interests in our neighboring states are shrewd. They have gone to financial extremes to protect their Texas revenue stream. Since 2008, gaming interests in neighboring states (mostly Oklahoma) have poured about $2 million in political contributions into Texas trying to influence our state politics. They will stop at nothing to defeat the issue at the ballot box.

Texans are smart enough to decide this issue in a statewide referendum and the Legislature has the power to make that happen. For me, this issue comes down to a pretty simple question: Are you for Texas, or are you for Oklahoma?

It’s time to Let Texans Decide.


John T. Montford is a former marine, district attorney, state senator, and chancellor to Texas Tech University. This op-ed originally appeared in the Austin American-Statesmen.

Posted by at 6:05 am