March 9, 2007
Taxes would legalize gambling and use proceeds to fund higher education
This is one plan I haven’t heard before!
By KELLEY SHANNON, Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN (AP) — Texans would get to vote on whether to allow full-scale casino gambling in up to a dozen spots across the state under legislation proposed Thursday by two high-profile senators.
A major selling point, the legislators hope, is a part of the plan that would dedicate $1 billion per year to pay for eligible Texans to attend a community college or public university.
Sen. John Carona, a Dallas Republican, and Sen. Rodney Ellis, a Houston Democrat, are sponsoring the legislation. Both said they aren’t gamblers and don’t buy lottery tickets but that someone needs to stop the flow of gambling money leaving the state. They also said “destination resort casinos” will attract tourism money for other activities besides gambling.
Proponents of the measure say Texans already spend about $10 billion per year gambling — some of it in other states and some of it illegally in Texas.
“Texans are already voting with their feet,” Ellis said, referring to gamblers’ trips to other states.
The proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by Texas voters, would allow for 12 casino gambling sites, three on Indian reservations. It also would allow video slot machines at horse and dog race tracks.