By More than Five to One, Voters Say Let Texans Decide

Feb 11, 2013, 13:33 ET from Let Texans Decide

Survey finds 82% of Texans support gaming referendum, including 78% of Republican primary voters

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Wilson Perkins Allen opinion survey released today by "Let Texans Decide" shows voters support a constitutional amendment election on expanded gaming by overwhelming numbers. 82 percent of respondents indicated support for a ballot initiative on expanded gaming, with 62 percent – five of every eight survey respondents – indicating strong support for a constitutional amendment on gaming. In addition, Wilson Perkins Allen performed an over-sample of 511 Republican primary voters and found 78 percent of Republicans support placing expanded gaming on the ballot.

"Texans of every political persuasion, across all economic sectors and demographics, agree that voters should decide on the expansion of gaming in Texas," said former State Senator John T. Montford, chairman of Let Texans Decide. "Texans are smart enough to figure this issue out on their own, and should have the freedom to do so."

The survey of 1,001 registered voters, conducted January 27-30, posed the question:

"Regardless of your views on gambling, would you support or oppose allowing Texas voters to decide on a constitutional amendment to allow the expansion of gaming in Texas?"

Among a representative sample of general election voters, 82 percent said they would support a voter referendum on gaming, with only 15 percent expressing opposition. Among Republican primary voters sampled, 78 percent indicated support and 20 percent indicated opposition.

"This is a myth-busting survey that shows Republican voters believe Texans should have the freedom to decide how they spend their entertainment dollars," said LTD spokesman Eric Bearse. "Texans are already gaming. The issue is whether we will continue to allow out-of-state interests to poach $2.5 billion from our pockets each year."

75 percent of survey respondents – and 65 percent of Republican respondents – agreed with the statement:

"Texans lose billions of dollars to out of state casinos, and are paying for the public schools and highways in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Texas could use that money to improve our own services."

76 percent of respondents said they have gambled, including 70 percent of Republican primary voters. Two-thirds of Republican respondents and the total sample support, "adding additional law enforcement to crack down on illegal gambling operations that currently exist in Texas."

"A clear majority of Texans support a vote on legal gaming, and shutting down unlicensed and illegal gaming operations around the state," said Bearse. "Texans are the freest people on earth, and they are tired of having to sneak across the border to enjoy casino-style gaming. It is time to let Texans decide this issue once and for all."

Survey data is available at Let Texans Decide is a growing organization composed of race track and casino interests, and supported by dozens of chambers of commerce and business leaders, in addition to various locally elected officials. The mission of the organization is to put expanded gaming to a vote during a constitutional amendment election.

SOURCE Let Texans Decide