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Gaming Bill Filed in Texas

Texas HORSE supports Texas gaming bills.

Press Release
March 5, 2013

Texas HORSE

Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-District 20) has filed Texas State Senate Joint Resolution 36 and enabling Senate Bill 789 that call for a constitutional referendum to allow video lottery games at licensed horse and Greyhound racetracks and by Indian tribes under the regulatory authority of the Texas Lottery Commission and the Texas Racing Commission. Sen. Hinojosa, whose district in South Texas includes Corpus Christi, McAllen, Edinburg and Mission, has been an important and longtime supporter of the horse and Greyhound racing industry in Texas.

“This legislation has very significant implications and substantial benefits that could preserve and prosper the Texas horse racing industry,” said Dr. Jacquelyn “Jackie” Rich, an equine veterinarian from Lott who is president of Texas HORSE. “We are currently surrounded by states that have slot machines at the horse racetracks which generate millions in purse money and put Texas racetracks at a severe disadvantage. In 2012, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma paid over $214 million in purse monies to racehorse owners while Texas racetracks paid less than $24 million. And the majority of the money wagered at the slot machines at these racetracks in surrounding states is wagered by Texans.”

To support these measures, Texas HORSE will hold “Horse Week at the Capitol” on April 1-5. Texas HORSE is calling for Texas horse owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, track employees and racing fans to come to Austin the week of April 1-5 to meet their Texas State Senators and Representative to tell their story and ask for the legislators’ support for video lottery games at Texas racetracks. To make reservations and receive assistance in arranging visits with their elected officials, participants should call one of these organizations: Texas HORSE at (817) 845-2917 or (512) 934-2974; Texas Thoroughbred Association at (512) 458-6133; or Texas Quarter Horse Association at (512) 458-5202. Online registration is available at www.texas-horse.com.

More than 800 supporters of the Texas racing industry attended Texas Horse Day at the Capitol during the 2011 session.

“After the past two years of horses, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys continuing to race predominately in other states, we expect even more people to come to give their testimony given they will have more opportunity to arrange visits and more time to spend with legislators and their staff,” said Rob Werstler, Director of Racing for the Texas Quarter Horse Association. “This is Texas horse racing’s last stand. We have already seen our purses, races, racehorses and wagering in Texas decline 44% to 74% over the last 10 years.”