Former Texas state legislator John T. Montford thinks the Lone-Star State has put off the issue of gaming long enough.
"We've been surrounded by Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico. They've done a really good job of taking a lot of Texas money, and frankly we'd like to see that money spent and reinvested in Texas."
The former lawmaker stopped in Marshall today, on tour for his group Let Texans Decide. The group wants Texas' legislators to let voters decide on gaming in the state.
"We're not asking members of the legislature to say 'Are you pro-gaming or anti-gaming?' We're just going to ask them to let the people of Texas have a vote on the issue. Let the people of Texas decide."
Legal gaming in Texas could be a big problem for Shreveport/Bossier. Texans spend billions of dollars every year at casinos in neighboring states. Montford expects out of state interests to spend money on efforts to oppose Texas gaming if it ever reaches the ballot.
"The out of state interests are pouring a lot of money or will pour a lot of money in here against this iniative if we can get it on the ballot."
Let Texans Decides hopes that day comes. The group wants gaming on the ballot in Texas at the next general election, November 2013. Gaming has been a contentious issue within the Texas legislature for years, but Montford has no doubt the people of Texas are ready for casinos in their state.
"If the people of Texas can decide the issue, if it's out there for a vote, I think it will pass overwhelmingly."