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Letter to the Editor: Texas’ political opposition to gambling inconsistently applied

It is a tried-and-true conservative principle that government should not interfere in the free marketplace. But the supposedly conservative leadership of our state continues to intrude and is threatening to cost us more than 1,000 jobs as a result.

Texas freely allows various forms of gambling. Last year, the state-sanctioned Texas Lottery generated more than $6 billion in sales. We also have racing tracks in the state.  Yet the Texas attorney general is trying to shut down electronic bingo facilities on tribal lands near Livingston and El Paso — all while leaving alone a third tribal bingo facility in Eagle Pass. Our state’s political opposition to gambling is, literally, inconsistently applied.

The state’s efforts are hypocritical and economically harmful. If the facilities in Livingston and El Paso close, some 1,700 Texans will lose their jobs.

The U.S. Senate has a chance to stop the heavy hand of government from interfering in the marketplace. The U.S. House has unanimously passed a bill that would stop the state’s efforts to close these facilities. The decision facing our Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz is simple: Will they stand up for fairness and for jobs, or will they let government pick the winners and losers in our economy?

 

Scott Hughes

 Livingston, Texas