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New frontiers in vice peddling

You know, I was just thinking that the problem with buying lottery tickets these days is that you have to actually leave your house and go to some kind of retail store to do it. Well, thanks to our ever-forward-thinking Lege, that may not be true for much longer.

A bill approved Monday by the House Appropriations Committee would make Texas the first state to let lottery players buy tickets via the Internet and pay with a debit card.

Players also could also establish a Texas Lottery Commission account that would draw down as they purchase tickets.

House members barely discussed the measure at Monday’s meeting. It was inserted in a larger bill that also allows drivers to display only one license plate if it’s on the rear.

Unless you’re driving to go vote, in which case you need three license plates plus a copy of your birth certificate hanging from the rearview mirror. Beware the power of Mary Denny!

Letting lottery players use their credit cards first surfaced a year ago as one of several wacky schemes by Governor Perry to fix school funding without doing anything substantial. It was a bad idea then and it’s a bad idea now, with or without the new online-purchase bit tacked on. I do wonder if Perry still supports it, though, given his 180 degree turn on other gambling matters.

The Lottery Commission was taken by surprise. Officials said they weren’t told of the bill ahead of time and don’t yet know what kind of games they would offer via the Internet.

Duh. Create virtual scratchoff games, where you can use your mouse to simulate rubbing a quarter against the ticket to see if it’s a winner. You know it’s what the people will want.

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5 Comments

  1. Wiliam Hughes says:

    “Duh. Create virtual scratchoff games, where you can use your mouse to simulate rubbing a quarter against the ticket to see if it’s a winner. You know it’s what the people will want.”

    New Jersey already has this. They have Tetris and PacMan as lottery games.

    By the way, when I first read this, I thought the headline was “New Frontiers in Rice Pudding” 🙂

  2. Michael says:

    I bet it’ll be “Official State of Texas Hold ‘Em Legal Online Gaming!”

  3. Walt says:

    Why hasn’t Texas considered using the pari-mutuel laws that we have in place, in lieu of reinventing the wheel?

    There is no need to look for other revenue streams when they are right in front of us. Pari-mutuel profits are up (see TXRC web site), and professional Jai-alai wants to enter the Texas market with 3 new facilties. There’s your $1 billion windfall!! AND THEY ARE AGAINST VLTs!!!

    See:www.texasjai-alai.com

    The reason that the horse and dog tracks want VLTs are obvious. But, what hasn’t been considered is, there absolutely no reason for the State of Texas to spend the millions of dollars that will be necessary to put the systems in place.

    Allow the pari-mutuel industry to fulfill the promises that they made.

  4. Charles Hixon says:

    Too bad the lure of on-line voting can’t match the lure of on-line government-sanctioned gambling/taxing. Maybe I’ll see a little slot machine in my voting booth next election – or maybe I do already.

  5. JC says:

    Kinda off-topic but this article also states something about a bill that also allows drivers to display only one license plate if it’s on the rear.

    Does anyone have more info on this. Is this for all cars or specialty plates only. Bill # info or anything would help….I have search to no avail.

    Thanks,
    JC