Bill pre-filing for the 2013 session has begun. Yesterday, Senator Rodney Ellis D-Houston filed a casino gambling bill. According to several news articles Ellis is pushing the measure under the false promise of additional revenue.
Delusions of massive windfalls from expanded gambling are unsupported. Gambling economies in fact have to spend $3 for every $1 they collect.
Last month Ellis and John Montford appeared at a 2013 legislative preview at Rice University. Montford, a former Democrat lawmaker from West Texas and most recently an Obama handyman at GM, is the front man for the latest effort to increase gambling in Texas.
Similar measures have failed to pass the legislature, but a racing industry on life support has kept the threat alive for the last decade.
Reporting on the bill this morning, WOAI of San Antonio speculated that Joe Struas would be freed to weigh in on the matter in the upcoming session.
Straus remained silent on the issue last year because of his family’s interest in Retama Park in Selma. the Straus family has since sold its interest in Retama.
Unfortunately for Straus that dog won’t hunt. Straus and his family, while they may have divested from Retama, still have stakes in several other horse tracks around the state leaving Straus’ conflict of interest intact.