Thursday, February 15, 2007

Texas Horse Racing Plays the Role of the Strong Silent Type

Strange things are afoot in the Lone Star State ...

Yesterday, there was a brief paragraph in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,
State Rep. Kino Flores, D-Palmview, filed legislation Monday to allow voters to decide whether they want video slot machines at racetracks and on Indian reservations.

Flores said that if the devices are legalized, more than $1.2 billion would be pumped into the state treasury each year and Texans would not have to play the games - and spend their money - in bordering states.

I went on-line to see if there was more to the story. I could not find anything regarding HB 1405 anywhere on the Star-Telegram website. I found this unusual because a couple of years ago, there was a huge movement to legalize video lottery terminals, or VLTs, at racetracks here in Texas. Keep Texas Running defined themselves as a grassroots effort. One could not even walk into Lone Star Park without being handed a piece of paper, which was neither mutuel ticket nor voucher, and strongly encouraged to "sign the petition" or "write your representative" or "if you don't know who your representiative is, we'll find it out for you." And if I can recall, it seems Magna Entertainment turned into Magna Lobbyists.

Needless to say, the measure did not pass. Horsemen left Texas for other lucrative states, where purses were higher. My friend, Myra, and all her gambling cronies, continued to make the weekly trek to WinStar Casino, just over the Red River and into Oklahoma.

So, yesterday, there's a short paragraph. Today, there is nothing in my local paper. I read nothing on the Lone Star Park Press Releases. I found it highly unusual that the racing industry here in Texas, especially here in the DFW area, doesn't seem to have any kind of report or opinion, such as, "It's a great idea and we are involved covertly," or "What kind of name is Kino anyway?"

But would you like to know where I did read somehing about this proposed legislation? The Blood-horse (compiled from the AP). And it appears that the proposal for slots is already being challenged; not by the religious conservative groups but the Texas Gaming Association that wants to super-size the issue.

So where are the voices of Texas horsemen? Racing fans? Texas Media? Drew Shubek? Warner, the Mutuel Clerk? Myra, the WinStar Diva? Is this good? Is this bad? Is this anything? Yea or neigh ...

1 comment:

Handride said...
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