|83 Percent of Texas Voters Want to Decide
for Themselves on VLTs
Eighty-three percent of Texas voters
want the right to decide for themselves if Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs)
should be placed at horse and greyhound race tracks in the state, a new
statewide public opinion survey shows. The survey of 600 registered voters
was conducted May 10-11 by Baselice & Associates, Inc.
“This survey convincingly demonstrates that an overwhelming majority
of Texans support Video Lottery Terminals at horse and dog race tracks
as a way to generate funds for public schools and as a way to offset property
taxes,” said Tommy Azopardi, a spokesman for the council and executive
director of the Texas Horsemen’s Partnership. “Clearly, the
people of Texas support the right to choose whether to allow VLTs at racetracks
and, when given the choice, would approve of VLTs.”
According to the poll, 62 percent of respondents support VLTs at horse
and dog tracks. That support jumps significantly when revenue from the
gaming machines is dedicated to public schools (73 percent) or is used
to reduce property taxes (71 percent).
When asked to select from six different methods of funding public schools
in exchange for reduced property taxes, allowing VLTs was the second most
popular method – selected by 24 percent of voters. The other five
options in descending order were: increasing cigarette taxes (32 percent),
increasing the state sales tax (11 percent), increasing business taxes
(7 percent), creating a state income tax (5 percent), and expanding the
state sales tax to food and beverages (5 percent). The remaining respondents
volunteered the following: other/combination (5 percent), none (5 percent),
and unsure (6 percent).
Seventy-three percent of respondents also said they would re-elect their
legislator if he or she voted to allow Texas voters to consider VLTs on
a statewide constitutional amendment election ballot in November.
Seventy-two percent of survey respondents also agreed that Texas should
be capturing gaming dollars that Texans are already spending out of state.
Texans are spending more than $1 billion every year at Louisiana border
“Texans are a strong-minded people, and this survey shows they
want a say in how this issue is decided,” Azopardi said. “Given
this strong support, we urge Texas legislators to give voters that right.”
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.