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By Karen Brown


Video lottery terminals = more texas jobs & more revenue THE HORSE GAZETTE Looking For A Horse It is projected that


the Texas State budget will fall short of meeting expenses by as much as $21 billion over the next two years. In a recent poll conducted on behalf of several regional newspapers, the majority of Texans want to see reductions in spending. In reality, this seldom happens, but even if it does, the state will surely be in deficit before the coming year is out. Voters have just


given the federal and state governments a clear message that it’s time to cut taxes and stop spending. Even so, a large portion of governmental spend- ing will still fall beyond the available tax receipts. It fol- lows that a sensible approach to increasing revenues would be to tap a voluntary source of funds, i.e. gaming receipts. No one is required or forced to play the lottery or gamble. The state of Texas, however, benefits by these activities by taking a percentage of the proceeds. Texas already has


a lottery system and there are five horse- and three dog- race tracks where gambling is sanctioned. Opponents of VLTs center their arguments around the moral issue of providing access to gambling. However, illegal gambling is common throughout the state. Says, Val- erie Clark, Executive Director of Texas HORSE, “There will always be general arguments against gambling. Texas al- ready has gambling and plenty of it. Illegal gambling halls (8 liners) are common across Texas and the state of Texas receives none of the benefits from it.”


As it is now, the sur-


rounding states of Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana are increasing their coffers with an estimated $1 billion dollars coming out of the pockets of


Texans. People who wish to gamble will find an outlet. The boding question is why Texas is willing to let that much “vol- untary tax” money leave the state.


Statistics clearly show


that in every state that has re- cently permitted VLTs, revenues are markedly high. For example, in the month of October 2010, West Virginia earned $33 mil- lion from its VLTs. For the year 2009, Delaware collected $228 million. South Dakota picked up $109 million in 2009. When these figures


are factored on a per capita basis, West Virginia takes in an average of $219 per person, for a total of $396.4 million per year. The state of Delaware received an average of $257 per person. For South Dakota the figure is $134 per person. If one applies the lowest factor to the population of Texas, one could expect the state would garner as much as $3 billion annually in a new revenue stream. The Texas Comptrol-


ler has offered a much more conservative figure of $1 billion in revenue. The bottom line is that any amount of income gen- erated is tantamount to an equal sum in tax relief for all citizens of this state. VLTs are quick and easy to install and could be operational within weeks of approval by state legislators. Additionally, between 10 and 15,000 jobs would be created to maintain this new venue. This, too, will generate financial gains to the state, local municipalities, businesses, and the people of this state.


Clark states, “Texans


gamble in big numbers in Loui- siana, Oklahoma, Nevada and New Mexico. You can take a short drive across the State line and see how many Texas license plates fill the parking lots.” Let’s bring that money back home.


“Will I marry a Fireman? That’d be neat,... A big strong fella that can take the heat! - How’bout a Cowboy, with all that silver an’leather,... But we’d never have 2 dimes to rub together!”


The goal of the PERFORMANCE HORSE DEVEL-


OPMENT FUND (PHDF) is to give something back to the entire Texas horse industry. Texas HORSE has developed the PERFORMANCE HORSE DEVELOPMENT FUND (PHDF) which gives a financial boost to national horse organizations lo- cated in Texas – American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), American Paint Horse Association (APHA) & National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA). These Associations will be able to use funds innovatively to grow the Texas events & programs that they currently oversee as well as create new areas of growth. A portion of the PERFORMANCE HORSE DEVELOPMENT FUND (PHDF) is set aside for horse activities that do not fall under the umbrella of these three organizations, such as: state horse organizations, 4-H and FFA programs & activities; re- habilitative riding programs; educational seminars and clinics about horses & horsemanship; equine research, etc. Learn more about PHDF at www.texashorseweb.com.


hooves and horns by A.W. Erwin


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Of A Different Color?


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