Future of casinos in Texas a political debate

Oh the lure of a slot machine.

Gubernatorial independent candidate Kinky Friedman says casinos in Texas could bring in billions of dollars for education.

„When I’m elected governor, legalized casino gambling will not be far behind,“ said Friedman. „I want to constitutionally dedicate that money to education, so the 6 to 8 billion gets to education.“

Friedman says casinos now outlawed in Texas on all but Indian reservations are the way to help Texas schools out of a crisis.

But democratic candidate Chris Bell says he sees casinos as a option worth considering, not as an easy answer to Texas‘ problems.

„I think a city should have the right to vote before any casino would be built, i also want to see clear evidence it would be profitable for the state,“ said Bell.

Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, running for governor as an independent, says she favors video lottery terminals at racetracks, where betting is already allowed.

„I actually believe you can do that without a constitutional amendment, but i would wrap it in a constitutional amendment so that we dedicate every penny for new dollars for higher education and secondary education,“ said Strayhorn.

Legislators turned down video lottery terminals in 2005. And Gov. Rick Perry says he’s opposed to extending gambling in Texas in any form.