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Tue February 22, 2011
Flynn questions gambling survey statistics
By Scott Harvey
Canton – A survey suggesting a large percentage of Texans favor expanded gambling is at odds with that of local residents, says one lawmaker.
Baselice and Associates recently concluded 64 percent support allowing slot machines at Texas race tracks and on Indian reservations. But District 2 State Representative Dan Flynn is opposed to the measure, as are many of the voters he says he's heard from.
Citizens and Texas lawmakers have been divided on the gambling expansion issue over the past couple of years, but with the State facing a major budget shortfall the issue could push for a vote this session.
Track owners are suggesting a 'limited' approach. Many feel this is a backdoor approach effort by allowing slot machines at racetracks on a "limited" basis. While many works of research suggest a wide range of associated social costs, many have suggested a $3 cost to every $1 in revenue made for the State in terms of welfare and medical support to the gambler and the ancillary costs to families.
Flynn is asking those who feel gambling will be a financial salvation for the State to think about the social costs and how they may be asked to pay for those costs down the road. He notes the number of states that do allow gambling that are in desperate financial shape. He also questions why education funding may be cut, despite promises made back when the Texas Lottery was launched.