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Culture Texas bingo operators win suit to lobby lawmakers

Texas bingo operators win suit to lobby lawmakers

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

 

MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) – A federal appeals court ruling allows charitable bingo operators to use proceeds from their games to lobby Texas lawmakers on a variety of issues, including gambling.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling strikes down a provision of the Texas Bingo Enabling Act, on the books for more than three decades. The ruling late Monday says the law violates free speech rights of nonprofit organizations that hold bingo licenses.

About a dozen AMVETS and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, Indian tribal councils and Elks lodges from around the state filed suit in 2010 against the Texas Lottery Commission and its commissioners.

The suit contended for-profit gambling interests like horse and dog racing firms were allowed to use revenues “to influence the political process” but nonprofit groups were not  

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