Gambling in Texas: Let Texans Decide!

That is the name of the latest group trying to pressure state officials into allowing us to vote on legalizing gambling. This was in the Inbox this morning:

Dear Friend/Neighbor,

We are excited to announce the official launch of Let Texans Decide! Our campaign is a coalition of state business leaders, horsemen, community organizations, and Texas citizens committed to passing legislation at the Texas Capitol that will put expanded gaming on the ballot for the voters of Texas to decide.

We are already building momentum for our effort, and are pleased to announce that the esteemed, John T. Montford, will be leading a public affairs campaign to allow Texans the opportunity to vote on the expansion of gaming. Sen. Montford’s service as a U.S. Marine Corps officer and success as an elected District Attorney propelled him to serve in the state senate for 14 years where he was regularly recognized as one of the “Top 10 Best Legislators.”  He then served as Chancellor at Texas Tech in Lubbock, and is a successful Texas businessman. The Texas Tribune has just published an excellent interview with him about his new role where he talks about why this issue is so important to him and Texas. Watch the video or read the transcript HERE.An overwhelming majority of Texas voters, regardless of political party or geographic region, agree that we are smart enough to decide this issue ourselves.  Texas was founded on a simple principle: Texans ought to decide the fate of Texas. Our state was founded by men and women who exhibited fierce independence and rejected the idea of a nanny state where government decided for individuals what they can best decide for themselves.Let’s face facts. Texans are already gambling in large numbers. Unfortunately, we are forced to travel across state borders to spend our entertainment dollars.  Each year, $2.5 billion – $1 billion in Oklahoma alone! – leaves Texas and ends up creating jobs and paying for schools, firefighters and other infrastructure in our neighboring states.  But don’t just take our word for it, you can see with your own eyes! Check out this map showing how our neighboring states have surrounded us with gaming facilities so they can keep our money flowing into their states. Fellow Texans, we are getting fleeced by our neighbors! It’s time to bring that money home.

We need your help. There is no better time than now to encourage your legislator to allow Texans an opportunity to exercise their vote on gaming.  This is about our freedom to choose. Texans have always believed in the freedom of the individual, uninhibited by government. Visit our new website and sign our online petition.  Don’t forget to check out their Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest gaming news!

PM Texas, LLC
7575 N. Sam Houston Parkway W
Houston, TX 77604

It so happens that I made a stop in Biloxi, MS last week while on vacation. Huge casinos were attracting thousands of visitors. I noted license plates from Mississippi (obviously), Louisiana (strange?), Alabama, Florida, Illinois (yep), Missouri (yep), and ahem, Texas. Lots and lots of Texas plates. Spending dollars that might have been spent in Texas.

I admit that I’m not a fan of gambling personally. I spent about $20 in slot machines, went up, went down, got even, got bored, cashed out and left. So Mississippi didn’t make any money off of me – well, except that hotel room and some mighty fine barbecue at The Shed. I bet Texas hotels and restaurants could have used that revenue.

But while I don’t particularly like gambling, I think it is ridiculous that Texas doesn’t have local option gambling. If the residents of Galveston or Kemah or Austin or any other city want to allow gambling and deal with the positives and negatives of it, they should be able to bring it up for a vote. In other words, let Texans decide. I disagree with “Let Texans Decide” in one area – don’t let them pick winners and losers by setting up zones or restricting gambling to certain areas. Have a constitutional amendment that allows for local option gambling, then have local elections on the specific types of gambling allowed in communities.

So I say, Let Texans Decide! It is waaaaay past time.


  1. Anonymous says

    My wife and I go to Las Vegas twice a year and friends to Lucky Eagle, Delta Downs and other in neighboring states. Would be in big support in allowing gambling in Texas. Would rather keep our gambling money in Texas.