Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Latest Casino Gambling Backdoor

"Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished,
But he who gathers by labor will increase."
Proverbs 13:11

John H. Reagan office building -- Earlier today, the Texas Racing Commission held a hearing to discuss permitting 'historical racing' terminal, a euphemism for slot machines, at horse racing tracks.  This is the latest backdoor attempt to expand casino gambling in Texas.  The hearing was a scene straight from Ayn Rand.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

[Author's note: The hearing doesn't start until the five minute mark of the video.]

During the 1980's, when Kohmeni's Iran and Saddam Hussein's Iraq went to war, Henry Kissinger is rumored to have said "I hope they both lose."  That would be an accurate way to describe this hearing.  All sides in this dispute were looking to use government to shut down their competition.  Nobody was interested in a free market.  Sadly, it was a contest to see whose cronies won.

There are no good guys in this fight.  That being said, the proposed rule change is worse than the status quo.  Concerned Texans can contact the Texas Racing Commission at 512-833-6699.


Tony McDonald has more:
Today the Texas Racing Commission will take testimony from citizens concerned with the agency’s impending constitutional overreach. The Commission is considering enacting a rule that would allow Texas horse and dog tracks to implement devices called “instant racing” or “historical racing” terminals which critics have said are nothing more than thinly veiled slot machines.

Public outcry has prompted the commission to move its meeting to a new location in the Reagan Building to accommodate larger than usual crowds. Many Texans are furious that the commission would consider an end-run around the legislature and the state constitution’s general prohibition on gambling.


But there is an even bigger problem with the machines than their slot machine-like appearance and operation. The machines are billed by track owners as an extension of “pari-mutuel wagering,” where gamblers bet against each other in a pool with the house taking a share of that pool, rather than putting up money of its own for players to win. This is the process through which betting is allowed currently for live and simulcast racing and is a very narrow exception to the state’s general prohibition on gambling.

Running such a scheme on single-player machines obviously presents a problem, however. If the players were truly betting against each other, then the first person up to the machine would have nothing possible to win.

That is why the rules being contemplated by the Racing Commission propose that the machines be funded with gambling interest dollars to form “seed pools.” This house money means that the machines are not “pari-mutuel” and thus, even ignoring their seedy appearance, are illegal under Texas law.

Read the whole thing here.

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