Let Texans Decide

FAQs

FAQs

Do Texans support bringing gaming to Texas?
Where would the casinos be located?
Are there negative social impacts with bringing slot machines to racetracks?
How will Texas benefit from gaming?
What is the difference between this year and other years?
How many states allow gaming?
How can I help?


Do Texans support bringing gaming to Texas?
Polls in 2011 and 2012 show that an average of 80% of Texas voters, regardless of whether they want casinos in Texas,  believe the state legislature should put the issue on the ballot and let voters decide the issue once and for all.

A 2011 poll shows that 64% of Texas voters favor allowing casino-style gaming at Texas racetracks and on Indian reservations. Texan voters across the political spectrum have long embraced the idea of allowing casino-style gaming at racetracks  – Democrats (66%), Independents (64%), and Republicans (63%).
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Where would the casinos be located?
That is up to the legislature. We believe our elected officials in Austin must provide a responsible plan to maximize benefits for Texas and our storied horse industry. Currently, Texans can bet on horse and greyhound races in 13 locations statewide. We support a legislative proposal that allows gaming at a similar number of locations, including many of the horse and greyhound tracks. Texas doesn’t need casinos on every street corner.
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Are there negative social impacts with bringing slot machines to racetracks?
Problem Gaming
Approximately 85% of U.S. adults have gambled at least once in their lives and most participate in gaming as an occasional entertainment option. It is estimated that 1 % of adults meet criteria for pathological gaming in a given year.

The National Council on Problem Gaming defines problem gaming as “all gaming behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The essential features are increasing preoccupation with gaming, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gaming behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.”

Studies have found that there is no one form of gaming that leads to pathological gaming. The National Council on Problem Gaming has stated that casinos do not create problem gaming traits. The Council describes the cause of problem gaming as: “… the individual’s inability to control the gaming…due in part to a person’s genetic tendency to develop addiction, their ability to cope with normal life stress and even their social upbringing and moral attitudes about gaming.”

48 states and a majority of tribes already have some form of legalized gaming, whether it is full casinos or a state lottery. Texas has legalized gaming through the state lottery, bingo, and racetracks. Additionally, the Texas Department of State Health Services has multiple problem and compulsive gaming resources available at their website.

Crime
The National Gaming Impact Study Commission concluded that in regards to a relationship between crime and legalized gaming, “…insufficient data exists to quantify or define that relationship… This result highlights similar conclusions reached by many in the research field, scholars who lament the paucity of information.”

Several resources have suggested that communities where casinos are located are even more likely to see crime increases. However, the National Impact Study Commission concluded that “communities with casinos are just as safe as communities that do not have casinos.”

For example, the mid-sized city of Lawton, Oklahoma, which has casinos, has lower crime rates than the mid-sized city of Waco, Texas, in five of the FBI’s nine major crime categories. Even if a non-gaming attraction is introduced to a community, crime rates may increase due to the influx of people.

Many statistics used to correlate casinos or legalized gaming and crime are used very selectively. Crime is a result of many factors and there is no conclusive evidence that gaming is linked to an increase in crime.
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How will Texas benefit from gaming?
The responsibility of decision makers in Austin is to draft legislation that sets tax rates and regulates commerce for all industries in Texas. We are willing to work with them to ensure the proposal Texans vote on will bring back to Texas the $2.5 billion Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana are taking from us every year.

Aside from these revenues, Texas will benefit with tens of thousands of new jobs across the state and billions of dollars in economic development for dozens of cities and communities due to increased consumer demand, construction investments, a renewed horse industry, and much more. In fact, expanding gaming in Texas is expected to create 75,000 new permanent jobs, not including construction jobs.
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What is the difference between this year and other years?
The best and most trusted casino and entertainment companies have directly invested in Texas and are working closely with state business leaders, horsemen, and others to urge the legislature to support Texans’ right to vote on this issue. Unfortunately, this will not stop casino owners from Oklahoma and other neighboring states from doing whatever it takes to keep billions of Texas dollars crossing the borders.
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How many states allow gaming?
40 states have some form of legalized casino gaming. In Texas, pari-mutuel, lottery, and charitable gaming are currently legal. Only Utah and Hawaii do not allow any form of gaming.
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How can I help?
Join us! Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Share our Site, and sign up for our updates. Please visit our Action Center to send an email to your legislator telling them that you support Let Texans Decide’s mission and giving Texas voters the right to vote on this issue once and for all.
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