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Texas Lottery Nearly Abolished

An unexpected vote Tuesday to abolish the Texas Lottery Commission took a sharp turn later in the day when Texas House members re-grouped and voted 91-53 to keep the Commission in place.

An earlier vote defeated House Bill 2197, and would’ve potentially abolished scratch-off tickets, charity bingo, and other popular games of chance.

What was supposed to be a routine bill sparked lengthy and impassioned debate, with several lawmakers saying the lottery was as a de-facto tax on poor people.

Houston Democratic Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston pointed out that the state budget currently being considered by the Legislature relies on more than $2 billion for public education from the lottery. Turner said: “Those dollars are gone at this moment.”

The House still has one more vote on the bill, but it’s nothing more than a formality.

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