Retama Park Betting On Slot Machines

Poss­ibility Of Casino Taking Track Over Until Legi­slature Legalizes Machines

SAN ANTONIO - Horse racing is a dying business.

"There are no racetracks in Texas with a positive cash flow," said Retama Park Race Track spokesman Doug Vair.

Track operators believe that allowing slot machine gambling at their tracks could totally turn things around. According to Retama Park officials, slot machines bring in billions of dollars to states and tracks every year.

"It's significant money for both the state and the racetracks and its basically over the country," Vair said.

According to Vair, slot machines not only would save the track, they would also preserve tens of thousands of jobs across the state.

"There's 30,000 of us employed in the racing and breeding industry in this state whose jobs are in peril if we don't get some for of alternative gaming," Vair said.

All four states adjacent to Texas allow slot machine gaming. Billions of gambling dollars leave Texas for Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico as a result.

Despite that, the Texas Legislature recently adjourned without passing legislation to clear the way for the machines at the tracks.

Recently, casino operators have been gobbling up horse race tracks around Texas.

According to officials at Retama, at least two Las Vegas-based casino operators are interested in acquiring the facility. Casino operators are not in the business of losing money. The fact that they are scooping up the money-losing tracks indicates that they feel the machines will be legalized in the near future.


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