Right now, there is an effort among lawmakers to allow voters to decide on legalizing gambling in Texas. Senate Joint Resolution 64 would create a constitutional amendment that would trigger an election on the issue, most likely this November.
And the state would take 20% of the total revenue from any casinos built and operated in Texas.
Proponents of the measure say Texans spend three billion dollars a year gambling in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico. And that's money that should stay here.
Opponents say closer, more convenient gambling would encourage a bad habit for financially-struggling Texans that could be detrimental for some families.
I think it's always a good idea to let voters decide the big issues instead of politicians. So in that way, I am supportive of this bill.
What bothers me is that it's not specific about where the 20% tax would go and more importantly, the plan to make sure it goes there. And we're talking tens of millions of dollars.
That's a lot of money to NOT have a plan for. Reminds me of the promise back in the 90's that creating a state-wide lottery would mean millions more for Texas schools. That turned out to be a joke.
Bottom line: Let the voters decide. But first, lawmakers need accountability, oversight and a better plan for the money before rolling the dice at the polls.
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'Consider This' is a commentary by KCBD Vice-President and General Manager Dan Jackson.
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