Two sides to the coin in proposed Texas gambling changes

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
This week, the Texas Lottery Commission is weighing in on allowing the use of electronic devices, similar to slot machines, in bingo establishments.

Some who frequent bingo halls near Fort Hood and some who live nearby say the idea is all aces, while other call it a flop.

KILLEEN/FORT HOOD, TX (KCEN) - A decision on whether big changes to gambling are in the cards for Texas is just days away.

This week, the Texas Lottery Commission is weighing in on allowing the use of electronic devices, similar to slot machines, in bingo establishments.

Some who frequent bingo halls near Fort Hood and some who live nearby say the idea is all aces, while other call it a flop.

Mother of three Brandie Stephens lives right around the corner from the gaming locations in Killeen, and she's not buying into the proposed change.

Fellow parent and neighbor Michael Johanson is "all in" for the so called video confirmation, which shows whether pull tickets, similar to Lottery scratch offs, are winners.

Some Bingo goers who play right up the road from his home agree that the machines would be a good thing, especially when it comes to what's in the pot for charities, which by state law, receive money from bingo halls.

Since 1981, bingo halls have generated more than $1 billion for Texas charities, if implemented, the video confirmation machines are expected to generate even more.

Come Wednesday, if the Texas Lottery Commission makes the call to allow their use, Johanson says he'll even have a hand in and try his luck.

Meanwhile Stephens might up and fold all together, packing up her kids and cashing in her house.

Lottery officials say they do not consider video confirmation to be an expansion of legalized gambling.


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