Casinos in Texas? Opponents say it's just too risky

Casinos in Texas? Opponents say it's just too risky

Casinos in Texas? Opponents say it's just too risky

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by Karen Grace / KENS 5

khou.com

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 14 at 10:43 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- Supporters say we already have horse tracks and the lottery, so why fold on slot machines and casinos?

Want to bet casinos are coming to Texas? That's what state lawmakers are wagering, but opponents say it's just too risky.

"I'm all for gambling," said Bob Leal, a visitor at Retama Park Tuesday.

While he isn't striking it rich on his horse bets, Leal longs for the big prize  that one day Texas will legalize other forms of gambling.

"We need some slot machines and some gambling in here," exclaimed Leal.

Houston Senator Rodney Ellis is promoting a bill to help bring gambling revenue to Texas instead of losing it to neighboring states.

"Local citizens ought to be able to," said Bryan Brown, CEO at Retama Park. He says potential customers are driving across state lines to hit the jackpot.

Michael Scott is retired and loves to visit Retama for recreational gambling.

"Because every time you go to Louisiana, 8 out of 10 cars have Texas tags," Scott said. He favors bringing casinos to Texas.

Brown says there are so many 8-liner busts.

"Right now there are about 140,000 illegal 8-liners across the state. By the time one has shut down another has opened up," said Brown.

Instead, he says, why not legalize casinos and pump more money into the local economy and educational programs.

But opponents fear it promotes gambling addiction and prays on the poor.

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