FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2011
(Austin, TX) — Early this morning, Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa filed the constitutional amendment, SJR 33, and enabling legislation, SB 1118, allowing for the operation of video lottery terminals (VLTs) in existing race tracks and federally recognized Indian reservations. Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the Legislative Budget Board, released the following statement.
"Texans are in favor of this proposal and it's clear why. This proposal will help keep the $2.5 billion a year Texans spend in neighboring states here at home; that's money we can use for education and healthcare.
"When people travel to other states to gamble, they pump millions of dollars into the economy - they go out to eat, visit local attractions, and spend a day at the mall and shopping centers. We are talking about an economic impact of $8.5 billion, that's a huge increase in state revenue and right now we are giving away the jackpot.
"On top of everything else, this proposal can create over 77,000 new and permanent jobs in our state, and not just in the racetracks, but in 40 different industry sectors. And we can accomplish this without expanding the gaming footprint; placing VLTs in existing race tracks will maximize the value of our existing gaming and entertainment space.
"In Texas we already have the necessary ingredients to be a leader in horse racing - we have good horses, excellent breeding, great weather for training and a longer racing season - we just need to increase traffic. VLTs will draw more people to the racetracks, increase tourism, make for bigger purses, and benefit the economy of this great state.
"This proposal is a win for Texas."