It appeared as though live racing and full-card simulcasts were to be suspended Sept. 1 in the wake of a battle over funding for the Texas Racing Commission.
Despite the threat of losing funding from the state, the Texas Racing Commission left in tact the regulations adopted earlier to establish historical race wagering.
The Texas Thoroughbred Association has asked racing regulators to drop efforts to repeal rules they adopted last year to govern historical race wagering at tracks in the state.
A Texas lawmaker has introduced legislation that would authorize a constitutional amendment on video lottery terminals at racetracks and at tribal facilities.
Once again, the Texas legislature concluded its biannual session without passing a bill to legalize video lottery terminal at the state's racetracks. But the potential for a task force on the racing industry offers some hope for assistance.
Some Texas lawmakers are trying again to establish Las Vegas-style casinos in the state, and they say now is the time to do it because the state needs the money. Racetracks would be included, according to legislation unveiled Feb. 24.
- By Gary West
The regular session of the Texas legislature concluded without tossing so much as a crumb toward horse racing, but the state's racing industry remains hopeful lawmakers could soon consider video lottery terminals for racetracks.
A last-ditch attempt to get video lottery terminals included in legislation that would reorganize the Texas Lottery Commission was unsuccessful May 26. With the Texas legislative session coming to an end, the VLT plan will have to wait for a special session or the 2007 legislative session.
According to the results of a recent public opinion poll, most Texans would welcome video lottery terminals at the state's five horse and three Greyhound racetracks.
As the most recent special session of the 78th Texas legislature came to a close, the fate of video lottery terminals appeared to be rather uncertain.
Unless the Senate revives interest in the concept soon, it appears the Texas legislature will not legalize video lottery terminals at the state's five horse tracks and three Greyhound tracks.
- By Tom LaMarra
Officials in Texas said support for racetrack gaming continues to grow in state government and in communities with pari-mutuel facilities.
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