Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Texas Lottery is dead (D.O.A.?)

Cut cash flow of $4 billion to reduce general fund by $1 billion
Rep. Steve Toth, R-Woodlands, a Tea Party activist and elected official
"Money talks and principal goes by the way side. On second reading, 30 people folded and the Lotto survives." - Rep. Toth

BREAKING NEWS from the House Floor. The Lottery Commission just went down in a vote of 81 Nays to 65 Ayes. Folks, at this time, the Texas Lottery is dead. The State of Texas takes nearly $4 Billion each year from the poor so that we can add $1 Billion to general revenue. Surely we can either cut the budget by a Billion rather than taking it from the poor. - Rep. Steve Toth, R-Woodlands

Failure to pass the bill leaves the state government with no Texas Lottery Commission to operate the massive gambling operation.

State officials estimated that the failure of the Sunset Bill, which originated in the House of Representatives, will reduce the Permanent School Fund by $1.04 billion and will cost cities and counties $27.3 million in funds generated by charitable bingo.

A fascinating aside:
For clarity on the Lottery vote. This is a provision of the Sunset Commission. This was not legislation that was introduced by anyone. With all due respect, I don't want to make anyone angry. The State of Texas and the Fed spend billions of dollars every year feeding, clothing and housing the poor. The Feds even give them free cell phones. Study after study shows that State Lotteries do not work unless they are marketed towards the poor who are supported with our tax dollars. In fact most State's Lottery marketing campaigns are timed to revolve around welfare and social security check distributions. One more thing; The top 5% of lottery players nationally spend nearly $3,400 annually on tickets, accounting for over half of all ticket sales (roughly 40% making less than $13,000 a year). The top 10% spend an average of $2,250 annually and that accounts for two thirds of the annual sales.

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