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John T. Montford and Charles Perry Square Off On Gambling Referendum [AUDIO]

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Should gambling be legalized in Texas? That was the question posed by both a former chancellor and a state representative on the Monday edition of the Chad Hasty Show, guest hosted by Lubbock County Republic Party chairman Carl Tepper and former newspaper editor Randy Sanders.

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Former district attorney, state senator and chancellor John T. Montford is promoting a new referendum that would allow Texans to deice whether or not to legalize gambling in Texas. Montford said that he was surprised to find that Texas was losing a great deal of money to gaming establishments in Oklahoma and New Mexico, and he would like to see more of that money stay in Texas by legalizing gambling in the state.

The referendum would affect areas with already established race tracks and Native American areas, and if passed, would be up for a vote in November of 2013. Montford pointed out that there is plenty of illegal gambling occurring in Texas as it is, and that legalizing it would help them to better police the illegal activity. He also said that Texans are smart enough to decided for themselves whether or not they want gambling in their state.

Montford: “We are not asking the members of the legislature to decided if they’re pro or con on gaming or gambling. We simply want to let the people of Texas decide, the Democratic way, if this is something they want.”

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State representative Charles Perry, on the other hand, took a different stance. Perry is staunchly against gambling, and said there are better ways the state can generate revenue that resorting to gambling. He countered many of Montford’s arguments, saying that the money would not really be staying in Texas and that the referendum would only affect a few select cities, like Houston and Dallas. But the biggest reason Perry does not support the referendum is that he does not want to support another “entitlement program”

Perry: “A 66 to 80 percent estimate of wage earners [who come to the casinos] are of a lower social economic category that we typically are already either funding Medicaid, or either funding CHIPS, or either funding Lone Star, of either funding subsidized school lunches…I don’t want to have to fund another entitlement program, or another vice for an entitlement program recipient that we are already funding at multiple levels.

Perry did, however, respect the fact the Montford wanted to let the people of Texans decided on the issue themselves.

What do you think? Would you support a referendum to legalize gambling in Texas? For more information on Let Texans Decide and the gambling referendum, visit lettexansdecide.com.

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