AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The head of the Texas Lottery Commission consulted with his Delaware counterpart about possible expansion of Internet betting and other games, as conservative leaders in Austin oppose such efforts.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott “supports current state law and does not support the expansion of gambling,” said John Wittman, a spokesman for the governor. Such an expansion would require approval of the Legislature, where efforts failed during the 2015 session.
Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery Commission, declined comment on the trip, The Dallas Morning News (https://bit.ly/1NrQldE ) reported Friday.
The newspaper obtained a copy of Grief’s Oct. 8 letter to Vernon Kirk, director of the Delaware Lottery. In the letter, Grief thanks Kirk for the hospitality when the Texan and his staff visited Delaware in early October.
“We were particularly interested to learn about your sports betting, Internet wagering and casino games,” Grief wrote. He went on to describe his appreciation for information “that I know will be very helpful as our state begins to consider other forms of lottery games in the future.”
Texas currently has lottery drawings, such as Powerball and Lotto Texas, and scratch-off tickets.
Texas Lottery Commission spokeswoman Kelly Cripe, in a written statement, said the agency is “always considering new lottery games.” She said the letter refers strictly to traditional lottery games and scratch tickets.
“Our state constitution narrowly defines legal gambling in Texas,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a written statement. “I expect the Lottery Commission to leave it to the Legislature before expanding.”
Information from: The Dallas Morning News, https://www.dallasnews.com
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