Texas Casino Fight Expected - Wednesday 15th of February 2006

AUSTIN, Texas – As reported by the Texas Star-Telegram: "Undaunted by a two-year string of legislative defeats, several organizations representing the gambling industry are poised to renew the fight to bring Las Vegas-style games to Texas when lawmakers are called back to Austin in the spring to overhaul the state's school finance system.

"And gambling opponents vow to wage yet another round of trench warfare against their better armed and funded foes to keep those games from operating in Texas.

" 'I absolutely believe that with the kind of money that they're throwing around, the CEOs of these big gambling enterprises see Texas as being ripe for casino development,' said Cathie Adams, head of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum. 'And their message, which makes people think they can strike it rich because of luck, is a very tempting one. It is as tempting as it is deceptive.'

"Gambling proponents dispute that premise. They frame the issue in terms of economic development, tourism, entertainment and an alternative to higher taxes. And they point out that gambling, both legal and illegal, already thrives in Texas and that neighboring states with more permissive attitudes and glittery casinos are raking in Texas money by the truckload.

"…The effort to expand gambling in Texas beyond the state lottery and a handful of horse- and dog-racing tracks took root in spring 2004 when Gov. Rick Perry first called lawmakers into special legislative session in an effort to lower local school property taxes and to find more revenue to pay for public education…"

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