Gambling has proven time and again to be a leach on industry and taxpayers. The only people who benefit from gambling are the cronies who control the industry and lackeys who help make it legal.
Voters have done their part to stop gambling expansion in Texas by electing responsible representatives. Unfortunately the gambling interests have too much at stake and the thwarted gambling lobby is planning to use backroom deals to hoodwink taxpayers.
Todd Hunter is chief among liberal Republicans working on behalf of gambling interests in Texas. Last week he penned an op-ed for his local paper extolling the Texas Lottery.
Currently the Texas Lottery is under sunset review, meaning it could potentially be destroyed in the 2013 legislative session. Hunter and others working for the expansion on gambling are protecting the lottery as a backdoor to expanded gaming.
Weston Hicks wrote in March about the Lottery and how it can be used to circumvent the will of Texans.
In Rep. Hunter’s article he failed to mention that the Texas Lottery is a complete failure, under performing ever since it was created in the early 90′s. The lottery was sold to Texans as a way to solve budget woes and fund education. 20 years later the revenue is stagnant and funds 2 days of public education, while getting the vast majority of its business from areas in Texas that taxpayers subsidize heavily. These are the areas that can least afford to buy lottery tickets and these are the areas that the data incontrovertibly shows are buying them.
Plus, the Texas Lottery has been a bad governmental actor, acting in bad faith over and over again, looking for ways around the rules. It’s been a little slice of Chicago politics right here in the Lone Star state.
A former Democrat, Hunter has been given immense power over the Texas House by Speaker Joe Straus. Since his return to the legislature Hunter has been open about his support of expanded gambling in Texas.
This year individuals and groups who stand to gain from the expansion of gambling have been making moves. Casino owner with Las Vegas ties Tilman Fertitta recently redeveloped a pleasure pier in Galveston. The pier was originally built with a casino in mind. Two weeks ago Pinacle Group, a Las Vegas group, acquired Lone Star Park in San Antonio.
If Texans thought trial lawyers were a nasty lot when they were powerful just imagine the gambling lobby and union thugs who come with expanded gaming.