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Upcoming Texas Primary / Horse Racing Issue #54123

ABC Evening News for Thursday, May 04, 1978
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(Studio) Upcoming Texas primary election issue is subject of report
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner

(Abilene, Texas) Illegality of pari-mutuel betting on horse racing in Texas and legality of it in LA, 3 other states surrounding Texas and in Mexico, as well as practice of many Texans of going places like Delta Downs or racetrack in Vinton, both in LA, to bet on horses noted. Pol. issue presently being debated is economy one of legalized pari--mutuel betting versus opposition to legalize betting by powerful Baptist Church in state. Details given of supporters' reasons for wanting betting legalized and of previous defeats of proposal, though margins of defeat have narrowed each time. Church's position that betting is immoral and is invitation to organized crime cited. [Cliff Temple Baptist Church minister Reverend Doug WATTERSON - says pari-mutuel betting is bad for people and must be opposed by church.] Texas Horse Racing Association's efforts to convince voters to support legalized betting stated. [Texas Horse Breeders Association spokesperson Tom RUSSELL - says it's question of separation of church and state; cites reasons.] Russell's possession of horse that is son of famed Secretariat noted. Complication of conflict for Texas Baptists who raise racehorses and sometimes bet on them stated.
REPORTER: Bob Sirkin

Reasoner, Harry;
Sirkin, Bob

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