PRO: Lottery has failed as revenue source
The Texas lottery is supposed to be a voluntary alternative to a sales tax, but it has not raised adequate revenue and preys on the poor.
That's the position of the Texas Baptists Christian Life Commission, said Rob Kohler, consultant and lobbyist for the organization.
Kohler said the more than 80 members of the Texas House who initially voted to defeat HB 2197 probably did so "for more than 80 different reasons."
"There's not one political ideology, not one political party that opposes this," he said. "We don't believe the state should impose a regressive tax."
Kohler said data shows that most lottery sales are made in poor areas of the state.
"We don't believe the commission should prey on the poor to raise revenue," Kohler said.
The organization's public policy priorities for this legislative session include abolishing the Texas Lottery.
Terry Horton, pastor at the First Baptist Church of Hallettsville, agreed.
"I would be pleased to see it go away. I don't think that it has done what it supposedly was established to do and has done more harm than good," he said.
"I've never bought a lottery ticket and encourage my church members not to gamble."
Also dead set against the lottery are members of the Texas Conservative Coalition.
"The Texas Lottery Commission has consistently failed as a source of revenue for the state," said Brent Connett, communications director for the group. "It's an unproductive transfer of wealth with no productive redirection of resources.
"It should be abolished."