According to a new statewide poll conducted by Baselice and Associates and released today, the vast majority of voters favor allowing slot machines at Texas race tracks and Indian casinos. Texas voters favored the proposal by a margin of 75 – 23 percent.

The survey of 1006 Texas voters was conducted between February 7-11, 2009 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

“Our breadth of support cuts across all lines of gender, race and party,” said Tommy Azapardi, executive director of Texans for Economic Development. “In these economic times, voters are very motivated by the 53,000 new jobs and the billion dollars a year for state coffers racinos could generate for the state.”

The survey also highlighted Texans’ dissatisfaction over losing billions every year to racinos in neighboring states. Overwhelmingly, voters want to recapture as much of that money as possible.

Texans also believe it to be a priority to preserve and grow the state’s horse industry, which is in decline because neighboring states use gaming proceeds to boost purses at their racetracks.

Informed support ranges from 68 percent of conservative Republicans to 84 percent of moderate/liberal Democrats. In addition, 77 percent of African-Americans, 73 percent of Anglos, and 79 percent of Hispanics favor slot machines at the tracks and on Indian reservations.

Texans also approve of the added enforcement resources brought to bear against illegal eight-liners and tightly regulating legal slot machines at racetracks. This provision will likely be included in any future legislation as it has been in the past.

Legislation allowing a statewide vote on a racino proposal is expected to be filed shortly.