Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How Governor Abbott can discipline the lawless Texas Racing Commission

"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold."
Matthew 24:12

Yesterday, in a BRAZEN act of chutzpah, the Texas Racing Commission gave the elected leadership of Texas a GIGANTIC middle finger:
Commissioners voted 4-3 against removing references to historical gaming machines from its rules at today’s meeting.
"Historical racing" is a euphemism for slot machines.  Last year, the Racing Commission approved "Historical racing" terminals in an attempt to impose Casino Gambling on Texans. Texas Senate Republicans refused to go along.

Here's where things get interesting: Three current members of the Racing Commission are holdovers whose terms expired in February.  Of those three, commissioners Gary Aber and Michael Martin voted for "Historical racing."  This gives an opportunity to Governor Abbott.

When the legislature is out of session, Article IV, Section 12, subsection (c) of the Texas Constitution grants the Governor wide appointment authority:
If an appointment of the Governor is made during the recess of the Senate, the Governor shall nominate the appointee, or some other person to fill the vacancy, to the Senate during the first ten days of its next session following the appointment.
Bottom Line: Governor Abbott has the authority to replace two of the Commissioners who yesterday voted to allow "Historical racing."  The appointees would take office as soon as the Secretary of State received the paperwork and would serve until (at least) 2017.  It will be interesting to see if Governor Abbott uses this authority.


Governor Greg Abbott:
Phone: (512) 463-2000
Twitter: @GregAbbott_TX


  1. I'd sure like Gov. Abbott to use his authority to tell the Supreme Court that it's NOT the Supreme Power concerning marriage.

  2. I don't know where your information comes from, but apparently there are a lot of people drinking the same water. The Texas Racing Commission voted to let the courts decide whether historical racing terminals are an expansion of gambling or just another form of pari-mutuel wagering. Unfortunately the Legislative branch thinks they are the ones to make this decision solely on individual interpretation.

  3. I think perhaps the outside interests against Historical Racing Terminals, and the para-mutual wagering option they offer, are in fear that the courts will find that the Commission did have the authority because so many cases have been brought before other states courts which upheld the decision to allow HRT. Some of the states that approved and installed the machines, that were challenged and the opposing interests lost, are Oregon, Wyoming, Kentucky, and Idaho to name a few. Most of these have gone a high as their state Supreme Courts and even the Governor of Idaho vetoed his legislature (which was paid by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe) which tried to repeal the law.Historical Racing will be managed in the same manner as simulcast or live wagering and only installed at legally licensed tracks so there is little room for unregulated activity.It is unlikely that bingo halls will lose granny from dotting her way to the winner of a prize. However, Bingo has been shown to lines the pockets of its owner interests actually donating little to their “charity” of choice. That is perhaps the real fear. The fear of losing that million dollar paycheck!Illegal gambling occurs daily in our great State of Texas and is overlooked because the lobbyist pay legislators to essentially look the other way. Within one mile of my house an illegal and much publicized Dice Tournament will occur with a prize of $10,000. Within 8 miles of my house sit 6 8-liner machines in a Shell gas station. There is little regulation of bingo, game rooms, or illegal gambling tournaments (ex: Dice Games and Texas Hold’em) which all pay CASH money not cute little prizes or donations to charity.As far as I can tell, no one online has attacked Senator Nelson, but they have very accurately posted fact after fact that has been censored and removed. Texas is still part of the United States and our right to have a voice is protected under the United States Constitution. I hear politicians cry aloud about Constitutional Rights but they are actually the ones who will be the first to violate them just because someone has a view they do not share. The Texas Legislature does not like when laws are passed at the US level that trickle down that they do not agree with, but I don’t seen anyone censoring them when they are vocal about their disagreements. How about bashing candidates such as Hillary Clinton on your very own page. (Michael Quinn Sullivan - Facebook ) The photoshop “portrait” is so unbecoming of a politician who claims to be against this type of behavior. Again, do as I say not as I do?In closing, to destroy a multi-billion dollar industry does not seem in the best interest of the State of Texas. Every accused criminal is entitled to a trial and appeal. All we ask is for our day in court. How will we ever know if all of this is for naught if our appeal is denied to be heard? That is our request.

  4. 🏇
    ~HISTORICAL RACE TERMINALS ARE NOT SLOTS - TRUTH. Unlike slots in traditional casinos, the payoff of racing machines is tied to historical race results.

    Patrons will be wagering on previously run horse races viewed on an electric gaming terminal and will only win based on selecting the winning horse of a given race. The only difference in placing a wager using a Historical Race Terminal or a live race is when the race happened.

    Before placing a wager on a Historical Racing Terminal (HRT), handicapping information will be provided before placing a bet, just as it would when placing a live race bet.

    When using a HRT, winning players correctly predict the order of finish of the horses prior to the race, just as they would when placing a traditional wager.

    ~HORSEMEN ARE NOT ASKING FOR A HANDOUT-TRUTH. The Texas Racing Commission is not asking" Texas taxpayers for funds to operate. It is a self-funding entity. The commission’s $7.7 million annual budget that comes from licensing and fees paid by the racetracks.

    HISTORICAL RACING WILL ONLY SERVE TO BENEFIT A FEW is FICTION. According to a study conducted over the past year, by Deloitte Consulting, LLC, of the horse industry's 5.2 billion dollar impact to the Texas economy, Horse Racing is the biggest contributor at $848 million. There are an estimated 104,000 horses involved in racing. Texas racing industry has generated 8,000 direct jobs and 17,900 total jobs. There are a multitude of businesses of all sizes that depend upon this industry. The addition of Historical Racing will ensure the viability of this industry now and in the future.