Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Legalized Gambling in Texas Could Have Big Impact on Louisiana

According to Ross Ramsey, managing editor of the Texas Tribune, Louisiana would be significantly impacted by the legalization of gambling in Texas. Louisiana recorded $723.5 million in gambling revenue during 2009-10. The gaming control board writes in its annual report how significant the effect of legalized gambling in Texas would be on Louisiana, with $482.4 million in revenues collected from the Lake Charles market. The Lake Charles market, it is noted in the 2009-10 annual report, is frequented mainly by residents of the Houston-area. If a majority of gambling revenue is taken away from Louisiana, the “Support Education in Louisiana Fund,” where all the gambling revenue goes, will take a huge hit.

Another note of interest is that past history of the legalizing of gambling shows that during tough times, existing forms of gambling were pushed through successfully. Horse and Dog tracks, Bingos and the state Lottery system were all pushed through during hard times. It is likely another bill could make it through, as it is not a tax, the state needs money and slot machines can be shipped in rapidly, providing a quick revenue stream. However, there is still stiff opposition by Gov. Perry, republicans and moralists within the capital, so it will interesting to keep following this issue as the legislative session continues.

For more information on the topic, check out this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/us/politics/25ttramsey.html?src=twrhp

-Ian Cannon

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