It should be clear to members of the Texas Racing Commission that the agency overplayed its hand in June when it moved toward allowing state racetracks to bring in “historical racing” machines.
First, the effort got tied up in lawsuits, one from state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, and another from a group representing charitable bingo halls.
In November, the judge in the bingo case ruled that the commission does not have the authority to allow the machines, which opponents say are similar to slot machines.
Now the Senate Finance Committee, headed by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has stripped all funding for the Racing Commission from the committee’s initial draft of the 2016-17 state budget.
The previous budget allocated $15.4 million to the commission.
Nelson made it clear Tuesday that the change came because of the historical racing flap. She said that the commission should have waited for the Legislature to debate the issue, and that funding would not be restored “until we have an agreement on that.”
Nelson has long opposed expansion of legalized gambling in Texas.