As Greg S. Pate of Fort Worth, TX points out in his Ft. Worth Star-Telegram letter to the editor, Texans spend billions in Oklahoma each year gambling. There are dozens of Oklahoma casinos bordering Texas that attract thousands of Texas gamblers each year (check out the map!) Texans support Oklahoma jobs, schools, and roads with the billions they spend on gambling and gambling-related activities year after year. It’s time for Texas to keep those dollars and allow Texans an opportunity to vote on expanded gaming.
Casinos aren’t the only rivalry topic between these two states. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently hearing a case over water rights between the Tarrant Regional Water District and the state of Oklahoma. The growing Dallas-Fort Worth area needs water, and Oklahoma has it. Texans are ready and willing to pay for portions of the Red River water from Oklahoma tributaries but the state doesn’t want to share. Should Texas allow expanded gaming, billions of dollars would return to Texas and Oklahoma will need to scramble to fill the gaps. As Mr. Pate states in his letter, “Once Oklahomans experience a sharp drop in money flowing from Texas to their coffers, they may be persuaded that selling us some of their water isn’t such a bad idea after all.”