Abstract: Down to the Wire: The Desperate Need for the Texas Racing Industry to Catch Up to Other States

Caroline McLeodVolume 50 Student Writing Editor

Volume 50, Book 2

Horse racing has been an integral part of Texas culture since before the first settlers, but the viability of what was once the State’s most popular sport is seriously threatened due to restrictive gambling policies and a lack of legislative support.

In today’s Internet age, approximately nine out of ten horse racing bets in the United States are placed somewhere other than the host track.  Texas, by making online gambling illegal, is out of step with current federal law and the laws of almost every other horse racing state.  As a result, the purses at Texas tracks are considerably lower than those offered in surrounding states, which has caused many in the industry to leave the State.  There is a solution that, if utilized, would make the Texas horse racing industry viable, enhance the state’s economy, and preserve a staple of Texas’s heritage.