Lyle Lovett supports state slot machine legislation - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Lyle Lovett supports state slot machine legislation

AUSTIN (KYTX) - Lyle Lovett is a well-known singer and songwriter, something he's less known for, raising and racing horses. At the capitol Thursday, he publicly backed placing slot machines at Texas racetracks.

Lovett was one of hundreds of horseman at the state capitol rallying for a pair gambling bills. The bills would allow Texans to vote on putting slots at racetracks and Indian reservations.

"Win for Texas" is a group pushing the legislation. They said slots would generate a half-a-billion dollars for the state coffers in just the first two years. But opponents argued the money won't come in time to help the current budget crisis and worry about it's impact on the poor.

Earlier this week, a house committee heard hours of testimony on more than a dozen gambling bills.  The senator charged with finding $5-billion of non-tax revenue says there's not enough support for gambling. Authors of the bills hope testimony will change his mind.

"This is a significant source of non-tax revenue," said Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio. "A half billion dollars is a lot of money."

"Jobs are leaving the state and we're here in an effort to encourage legislation so our business can become vital and competitive once again," added Lyle Lovett.

Two-thirds of the legislature would need to approve the measures, then voters would have the final say.

Vegas-style casinos are also being considered. So far, there have been no votes on any of the gambling bills.

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