Tribpedia: Gaming/gambling

Tribpedia

There are casinos in about 20 U.S. states, but not Texas, whose Constitution officially bans gambling. For several sessions in the early aughts, some lawmakers and interest groups have tried to bring various styles of gambling to Texas. The idea failed many times, but the budget crisis of 2011 brought on renewed hopes for gambling legislation. Proposals for increased ...

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Laredo, TX, Tuesday, January 28, 2014.
Laredo, TX, Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

In Laredo, Gambling Law Draws Mixed Opinions

After a crackdown a few years ago in Laredo, gaming halls are on the rise again. It's an open secret that the payouts can be much higher than what is allowed by state law. Still, local officials aren't quite on the same page about whether to enforce the gambling laws or to try to change them.

If the Legislature is in Town, Bills Aren't Dead

The legislative session is in its last month and most bills will die. But setbacks for the big stuff — water, transportation and the like — are usually temporary. Lawmakers love to take things to the brink of legislative death and then revive them. Then they go home to their districts to recount their fantastic and ingenious rescues of vital bills. 

Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, at a press conference April 8, 2013 calling for another push to legalize casino gambling in Texas.
Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, at a press conference April 8, 2013 calling for another push to legalize casino gambling in Texas.

Carona Sets the Stage for Hearing on Gambling Measure

"You never really know when a major issue like this will find a break or an opportunity to be passed," state Sen. John Carona said Monday about proposed legislation that could legalize casino gambling in Texas.

Groups Bank on United Front in Gambling Push

Despite strong resistance inside and outside the Legislature, groups representing various gambling interests hope that a collaborative approach can help them make a breakthrough this legislative session. Those interests haven't always been on the same page when it came to legislation.

John Montford with www.lettexansdecide.com
John Montford with www.lettexansdecide.com

John Montford: The TT Interview

The former prosecutor, state lawmaker, Texas Tech chancellor and AT&T executive talks about his latest initiative to make casino gambling legal in Texas. The sponsor of legislation that made the lottery legal two decades ago is back with a similar pitch to let voters decide whether to bring more gambling to the state.

Jack Abramoff: The TT Interview

The former lobbyist, taking a reform tour around the country after spending almost four years in prison for his role in an influence-peddling scandal, on how to regulate lobbying in Washington, why he thinks the system is essentially corrupt, when money in politics is a problem and when it's not, and why anyone should listen to someone like him. 

The Humane Society of the United States supplied key information that led to the raid of an alleged cockfighting breeding facility in Santa Fe, Tex.
The Humane Society of the United States supplied key information that led to the raid of an alleged cockfighting breeding facility in Santa Fe, Tex.

Anti-Cockfighting Law Helps Law Enforcement Crackdown

Animal welfare activists are hoping for a renewed crackdown on illegal cockfighting now that laws passed last legislative session are in effect. Forcing the birds to fight was already illegal; now, it's also against the law to breed the birds or attend a fight. But the law’s force will depend largely on the initiative of newly empowered police forces. 

Toomey with Perry in the Texas House in 1985.
Toomey with Perry in the Texas House in 1985.

Texas Lobbyist Mike Toomey is Force Behind Rick Perry

Should Rick Perry become president, it will be in no small measure because of the efforts of Mike Toomey, a lobbyist and onetime chief of staff to the governor who has tapped a sprawling network of donors, business allies and friendly (or indebted) lawmakers to help him accomplish ambitious political and legislative goals.

Texas Capitol
Texas Capitol

Session's End Creates Graveyard of Dead Legislation

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The system is meant to kill legislation: That’s the old line most often heard around the Capitol. And right about now, as the session's end slams the coffin door on a slew of bills, more than a few lawmakers are taking solace in the fact that their dead bills have plenty of company.

House Speaker Joe Straus
House Speaker Joe Straus

Interview: Speaker Joe Straus on the Budget and Session

House Speaker Joe Straus was interviewed eariler this week by Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, government prof and half of the Tribune's polling team, about the session so far, the budget, gambling, rewriting state taxes, federal stimulus money and what he thinks about the tempest over research and teaching at the state's top universities.

Developer Jack E. Pratt, Sr., chairman of the Texas Gaming Association, speaks to the press on March 28, 2011.
Developer Jack E. Pratt, Sr., chairman of the Texas Gaming Association, speaks to the press on March 28, 2011.

Jack Pratt: The TT Interview

The head of the Texas Gaming Association, who's trying to convince Texas lawmakers to legalize casinos, on what's different this year, whether the tracks and casinos are playing nice, what he says to people who just don't like gambing, and how his likes his chances.

Jack Pratt: The TT Interview

Jack Pratt, chairman of the Texas Gaming Association, has tried for years to convince Texas lawmakers to let voters decide whether to allow casinos in the state. He's back again, proposing a combination of casinos, "racinos" (racetracks with slot machines), and Indian casinos that he and his economists say would bring more than $1.2 billion into the state treasury every year.  We asked Pratt about the new proposal, the political environment, and the odds.