The Texas Lottery Commission will consider on Wednesday whether to allow bingo players to use video confirmation in determning whether their pull-tag tickets are winners. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that “opponents say the machines will look and act much like slot machines, essentially bringing a form of casino-style gambling to Texas.”

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has already ruled that “a device that awards bingo cards or paper, card-minding devices and pull-tab bingo, or gift certificates redeemable for the same” is a gambling device, though he did say that “a ‘graphic and dynamic’ video confirmation device solely to inform players of the winning numbers in a bingo game” is not a problem. 

It appears that the Lottery Commission is attempting to expand the industry it regulates. This should be no surprise. Regulatory capture of government agencies is a well-known phenomenon. The more prosperous the industry being regulated, the greater the power of the agency.