Perry Is Not Selling The Lottery But The State’s Monopoly On Gambling

Posted in 80th Legislature, Around The State at 11:35 am by wcnews

Another article on the lottery, Lottery could get face-lift in sale. In it we learn more about the plan, expanded gambling and that the asking price is still going up.

The Texas Lottery might look quite different under a private operator if the state opens the door to online games, casino-style Keno and video slot machines as suggested by financial firms that have consulted with Gov. Rick Perry’s office.

Documents prepared by three firms seeking to manage the deal for the state say the sale price would range from $14 billion to $28 billion, depending on the buyers’ ability to increase profits by expanding gaming in Texas.

That may mean legalizing video slots or letting people buy tickets at home on their digital televisions, according to the documents reviewed by the Associated Press.

Now we know why a corporation would pay so much for the lottery. Because they would not be buying just the lotteryonly but access to Texas and all it’s gambling possibilities. Video Lottery Terminals (VLT’s) were very close to passing the Senate a couple of years ago. Now with the long-term budget mess that was created last year with the Perry, Craddick, Dewhurst Tax Swap, Perry wants to play a shell game with the lottery. Sell it to pay for schools, a weak health care plan, and cancer research.

What Gov. Perry is selling is the state’s monopoly on gambling in Texas. This privatization scheme like all others will, almost certainly, include a non-compete agreement. Meaning this will be the only game in town, or state, as the case may be. As EOW has said before, Gov. Perry, whatever his reason, is dead set on selling the lottery and will tell any story of festivus miracles he can to get this done. His numbers are bad and there are many skeptics as the plan stands now:

Where would it leave Texas? The lottery earns about $1 billion a year for schools, a sizeable part of the $13.2 billion the state annually provides for education. Under Perry’s proposal, the trust established for education would provide $800 million a year, $200 million less than the lottery gives now.

Perry said the trusts would bring in $300 million more a year than lottery ticket sales, but he is asking a lot more of that money — if it actually amounts to as much as the governor says.

Critics argue that the $800 million figure for education is suspect because it is based on a 9 percent interest rate, which some say can’t be maintained year in and year out. Skeptics include state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said there is much to learn before even considering selling the lottery. “What do we have to lose?” asked Watson, a cancer survivor. State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, said the idea was a surprise that needs careful scrutiny.

So yes it’s worth a bunch more than $28 billion to buy the monopoly on gambling in Texas, that’s why the price keeps going up. But the governor’s buddies want to buy it on the cheap.

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