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Texas folds on expanded gambling

18 May 2009

AUSTIN, Texas -- As reported by The Dallas Morning News: "Lawmakers have folded on their last chance this year to expand gambling in Texas, saying neither a budget crunch nor growing public interest can overcome staunch conservative opposition.

"Rep. Jose Menendez's bill to legalize Texas poker rooms – the last gambling measure standing – is on life support. And a bill to open the door to resort-style casinos, racetrack slot machines and Indian reservation gambling died in the House on Tuesday, when the deadline to schedule the bill for a vote passed.

"Supporters of both measures say they were hopeful for a different outcome. Their chances looked better than ever this year, with a strapped state budget and a new House speaker with interests in a San Antonio racetrack.

"But in the end, lawmakers say, the expectation of federal stimulus dollars kept the state from getting desperate for money. And the major casino gambling legislation needed 100 votes in the 150-member House, a threshold that the bill's sponsors couldn't reach in such a divided chamber. And even if the poker bill had passed, Gov. Rick Perry probably would've vetoed it..."

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