Will Gamble Pay Off? - Bill Passes House

2-26-04 - A bill allowing electronic gaming at three Oklahoma horse racing tracks passed today in the state House of Representatives. The lawmakers voted 52-to-47 for a bill that's supported by Governor Henry as a way to raise money for education.

The bill allows the tracks to offer games similar to those offered at tribal casinos. It also allows the state to regulate casinos, gives the state a share of gaming revenue and clarifies the games allowed in casinos.

Supporters say it will save thousands of jobs in the horse race industry and raise $71 million for education. But church leaders and some lawmakers opposed the bill on moral grounds, saying it will add to social problems, including divorce, bankruptcy and suicide.

It already passed the state senate, and Gov. Henry is expected to sign it into law.