Texans are paying to improve other states

 

Texans are paying for the public schools and highways in other states.

It’s time to get into the game.

New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mexico already have gaming facilities—most of which are on the border with Texas.

There are over 443 commercial casinos in 13 states, 44 racinos in 12 states, and over 456 Indian casinos in 29 states. In total, there are 37 states with these types of casinos. (American Gaming Association-2010 State of States)

According to some estimates, Texans spend more than $4 billion in other states on casino gaming. Over 80 percent of Texans live within a three hour drive of a casino, not including horse and greyhound racetracks.

According to the most recent comprehensive data available, in 2007, over 2.6 million Texans visited Las Vegas spending a total of $3.8 billion during their stay in the Las Vegas market.

 

Visits by City to Las Vegas:

DFW: 900,000

Houston: 700,000

San Antonio: 300,000

El Paso: 200,000

Austin: 300,000

 

New Mexico has a total of 27 casinos, 5 of which are racinos. All together these facilities accounted for $1.03 billion in revenue in 2009. The 5 racinos brought in close to $250 million in gaming revenue alone, almost entirely from Texans. (American Gaming Association-2010 State of States)

There is significant gambling activity in Mexico just across the Texas border, but there is no readily available data that accurately measures these expenditures.

 

We say let the voters decide.

82% of Texans want to vote on whether to allow a limited number of destination resort casinos in Texas regardless of their views on gambling. It’s time to stop paying for the public schools and highways in Louisiana and other states.

Oklahoma has a total of 108 casinos; well over 20 of these facilities are within 3 hours of downtown Dallas. These facilities generated $3.21 billion in revenue in 2009, the vast majority from Texans. (American Gaming Association-2010 State of States)

WinStar World Casino is located just across the Texas-Oklahoma border. It is the fifth largest casino in the world, with 5,700 electronic games, 76 table games, off-track betting, bingo and poker. More than 90 percent of the casino’s customers come from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area. (www.chickasaw.net, Brian Campbell - Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce Chief Strategic Development Officer)

According to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the state’s Lake Charles market accounted for $482.4 million in revenue in its latest report, and has this asterisk attached to it: Most of this area’s customers originate from the Houston area, and, like Shreveport-Bossier, would be hurt by legalized gambling in Texas. (Louisiana Gaming Control Board Report to the Louisiana Legislature, 2009-10)

Louisiana has a total of 18 commercial casino and 3 tribal casino operations and 10 of these are less than three hours from downtown Dallas-Ft. Worth or Houston. In addition, there are 2,294 video poker outlets with 14,571 gaming devices across the state.

In 2009 alone, these commercial facilities raked in close to $2.5 billion in revenue, mostly from Texans. (American Gaming Association- 2010 State of States, Louisiana Gaming Control Board)

 

Our Plan

Authorize a limited number of destination resort casinos. Places a constitutional amendment before Texas voters that would authorize up to eight destination resort casinos, and an additional eight licenses for slots at Texas tracks.

Dedicate the gaming tax revenues to the Property Tax Relief Fund. Dedication of these revenues will help to ensure that the legislature keeps the promise of lower school property tax rates.

Fund the TEXAS Grant College Scholarship Program. Dedicates other tax streams generated directly from these gaming facilities to fund college scholarships through the TEXAS Grant Program.

Allow each of the three recognized Indian tribes in Texas to operate a gaming facility on their tribal lands in accordance with state and federal law.

 

Our Goals

Let the voters decide. Our democratic system trusts the voters to elect legislators to serve in Austin who will enact their will. Poll after poll shows that as many as 85% of our state’s voters want to vote on the expansion of gaming. We should trust them to make the right choice.

Provide at least a billion dollars in state revenue for the upcoming biennium to help the state balance its budget. This would be mostly in the form of up-front fees from the companies winning the licenses to operate facilities.

Don’t feed the beast. Spend the revenues that are generated in a way that does not grow government, but instead lowers taxes and helps Texas remain competitive.

Create tens of thousands of direct jobs in the new gaming facilities. These are good jobs, with career paths, high salaries and benefits. And, they won’t cost the state one penny in incentives.

Require competition for the gaming licenses. Competition, not entitlement, is what will generate the greatest economic impact and benefit for the public. No one is automatically entitled to anything under this proposal.

Keep Texas dollars in Texas. World-class destination resort facilities will not only bring Texas gaming dollars back from adjoining states, but will significantly increase the flow of convention and tourism dollars into Texas.

The TGA does not support a gambling monopoly to Texas track owners by authorizing video lottery terminals at racetracks. Neither do Texas voters.

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