Updated Study Shows Texas Has Billions To Gain From Racetrack Gaming
Estimates a Potential for $8.5 Billion in Annual Economic Activity
(Austin, Texas) — Win For Texas released a study today that estimates the State of Texas stands to earn about a billion dollars a year in state tax revenue and gain over 77,500 total new jobs if slot machines were allowed at racetracks and on recognized Native American tribal lands. TXP, a Texas economic policy consulting group, prepared the study.
According to the report, Texans are already gambling significantly in other states. In 2009, Texans spent a total of $2.7 billion on gaming and related activities in surrounding states such as Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Mississippi. That same year, Texans were responsible for about 44 percent of Louisiana’s annual gambling revenues and almost 37 percent of Oklahoma’s share.
“Billions of dollars are leaving Texas and ending up in neighboring states’ economies,” said Jon Hockenyos, author of the study. “Much of this is preventable if Texas allows slot machines at its racetracks.”
The TXP report pointed to the growing role of expanded racetrack gaming. Racetrack gaming saw revenue reach $6.4 billion during 2009, more than double the figure for 2005.
The report concludes that if slot machines at racetracks were allowed in Texas, the state would realize $2.4 billion per year of new gaming revenue coming from outside the state, the vast majority of which is recapturing the dollars already being spent by Texans in other states. In combination with $1.4 billion in related direct spending (for hotels, shopping, etc.), this $3.8 billion in direct spending would produce an additional $4.7 billion in new Texas economic activity when the ripple effects to other economic sectors are considered, for $8.5 billion in total economic impact. In the process, Texas would gain some 77,500 new full-time jobs across all sectors of the economy.
This report is an update of one released in February of 2009. Since then, TXP has substantially updated its estimates of Texan gaming in neighboring states, including reviewing license plates in some cases, to better estimate the total impact of Texans on the gambling market in our neighboring states. The new data allowed for a more accurate accounting of the amount of money leaving Texas. The result was an increase by close to 25,000 in the number of jobs created and an increase of $1.7 billion in total economic impact.
“This new data gives us better insight into the flooding of dollars over our borders. We now have a better grasp on how we can put these dollars to work stimulating the Texas economy and providing much-needed State revenue,” Hockenyos explained.
These estimates could become reality as early as 2013, depending on the actions of the legislature.