Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

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 gambling bill could be taken up in a special session this summer, any delays only would prolong the agony for money-losing Retama and other racetracks.

The tracks depicted this legislative session as do-or-die time for saving Texas’ racing industry, while pitching video-lottery terminals as one answer to the state’s fiscal problems.

“The real question to me is how long would the industry be able to survive without getting legislation?” Retama Park CEO Bryan Brown said. “I don’t think the industry will go away tomorrow or next week or next year or two years from now. But little by little, it (will).”

[…]

A spokesman for Sen. Juan Hinjosa, D-McAllen, who co-authored a resolution to expand gaming at 13 racetracks, confirmed that proposals are “effectively dead.”

A Senate resolution never got out of committee. A house resolution made it out of committee, but no further action has occurred.

The proposals could never muster much support despite polls that showed a majority of voters favored expanded gaming.

So much for that special committee. Modulo any conspiracy theories, we’re done here. As I’ve said before, if the racetracks really couldn’t survive without slot machines, then I don’t think they were truly viable for the long term anyway. Frankly, I expect to see them again in 2013 saying more or less the same things they’re saying now.

Related Posts:

Comments are closed.