AUSTIN (KXAN) - With a KXAN poll this week showing that three out of four Texans wanting an opportunity to vote whether to legalize in-state casino gambling, one vocal opponent insisted that the people do vote on it every two years.
And they vote no, he said,
"That type of attitude doesn't carry the day whenever members are running in primaries, running in general elections, Rob Kohler of the Christian Life Commission said on Sunday's edition of KXAN's "In Session, In-Depth.
Kohler was debating former state Sen. John Montford, who now represents the pro-casino group, Let Texans Decide, who said the KXAN poll that shows 64 percent of the people support legal casinos tracks surveys done by his group.
"Why would anybody be afraid of letting the people vote on this issue?" Montford said. "The people of Texas are fiercely independent. They don't like the government telling them what they can and can't do with their money, as long as they are not hurting anybody else."
Kohler said people do get hurt by casinos, including developing additions to gambling. Montford countered that Texans who do their gambling out of state are subsidizing addiction treatment in those states, which devote a portion of their revenues to such programs.
But addicted Texans have no access to state-paid treatment in places like Louisiana and Oklahoma. He also said gambling revenues would help Texas lawmakers pay for other programs during lean budget years.
Kohler disagreed, saying Texans were promised abundant revenues from the lottery and horse- and dog-racing. But budget problems remain, he said.
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