Texas Gambling: The Morality Vs Legality Of Casino Gambling

1807 words - 7 pages

For years casino gambling was portrayed in the media and Hollywood as being associated with criminal activities and the mafia. Now with proper scrutiny and government regulations casino gambling has become a lucrative business, with casinos stock even trading on Wall Street. Casino gambling is an ever increasingly popular and legal activity in many states throughout the United States. “The term gambling or ‘gaming’ as the industry calls it, means any legalized form of wagering or betting conducted in a casino, on a riverboat, on an Indian reservation, or at any other location under the jurisdiction of the United States” (National Gambling Impact Study Commission Act). States that allow casino gambling benefit vastly by re-incorporating the taxation off of commerce gained from casinos and tourism associated with the casinos back into the state and local communities. Jobs created by casinos also have a positive impact on the economy in local communities surrounding casinos as well as, the states that legalize gambling. Texas, while allowing horse and dog racing, lottery, and charitable bingo, does not currently prohibit casino gambling. In this essay, I will provide the different reasons the State of Texas will benefit from legalizing casinos gambling. By not having casinos, Texas continues to lose valuable tax revenue that could be awarded to state and local government funded programs for example, education, public safety, economic development, and infrastructure improvements. With the increasing number of legal casinos in bordering states such as Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, the loss of tourism and tax revenue is a growing concern for Texas. Passing legislation to allow casinos in the State of Texas will help fund numerous state and local projects as well as create a plethora of jobs throughout all walks of life and will be an overall boost in the economy for Texas.
The State of Texas has reaped the benefits from the taxation of different forms of gambling for almost two decades. Since the inception of the Texas Lottery in 1992 (Texas Lottery website), the Texas Lottery has contributed more than eleven billion dollars to the Foundation School Fund which helps support education in the state. Pari-mutuel wagering for horse and dog racing has also been allowed under state law since 1987 and continues to provide revenue through taxes as well as employing numerous workers in the respective field (The Texas Gaming Commission website). If the State of Texas benefits from taxes off lottery and pari-mutuel wagering at horse and dog tracks then, how come legislation is reluctant to legalize casino gambling? The answer seems to lie within numerous religious groups and churches who view gambling as a criminal activity or a sin. An interesting fact is charitable bingo games which, are legal in Texas and is another form of gambling, have benefited churches and religious groups in the State of Texas for almost three decades...

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