With the budget shortfall of $15-30 billion dollars in the state of Texas, the push for legalized gambling has come to the forefront of discussion this legislative session. While in the past legalized gambling in Texas was merely an idea, it has become a possibility in light of our recent economic problems.
The major pro to legalizing gambling in Texas is the economic benefit casinos and resorts could provide. With our current debt levels, this is tempting given the fact that the Republicans holding power are reluctant to raise taxes to cover the difference. There is talk about making Galveston a host to a gambling resort, which would help boost that area after it was devastated by Hurricane Ike a few years ago. With all the money that is spent by consumers on trips to Vegas and Louisiana every year, it could pump more money into local economies.
The major con to legalizing gambling in Texas would be the social concerns that gambling brings. Republican lawmakers are concerned that with the legalization of gambling, Texans could become addicted to gambling, and bankrupt themselves at casinos, which could lead to an increase in poverty.
For more information on the issue of legalized gambling in Texas, check out this article by Greg Groogan at myFox Houston.