One of the most prominent hot buttons to push in Texas is legalizing gambling. It seems many other states are starting to be ok with this and allow it to happen in various ways.

A good majority of the country now allows sports betting to happen and it's easily accessible through different apps and sites. Unfortunately, Texas is not one of the states that have allowed it to happen as of yet.

I was completely flabbergasted when I moved here over nine years ago and couldn't even bet on horse races online, even though there are race tracks here that you can go to and legally bet on races. It's a very confusing thing to me.

So when I saw Toot'n Totum start putting in what appeared to be some sort of gambling machine, I got rather excited. Could this mean that Texas is loosening the reins and maybe, JUST maybe, we'll see more legalized gaming here?

The games that have been placed in the convenience stores are indeed something you can win money on. Sounds just like a slot machine to me. Here's the thing, it's not technically gambling. It's one of the oldest loopholes in the books.

The reason you can play these games and actually win money is that they are considered "skill games", not slot machines. Even though they look, feel, and sound like a slot machine, they make you work after spinning.

I sat down to play one out of curiosity. Once I clicked spin, the reels would start rolling. When they came to a stop, you had to look at the screen, select some icons to keep, then spin again. There's your skill loophole. You have to select keepers to try and build a winning combination in essence. Because of that one step, it changes what those machines are and thus, giving us games we can win money on yet not have it be considered gambling.

Almost every time I walk into a Toot'n Totum these days, I see people sitting at the machines trying their luck, utilizing their "skill" in hopes of a big payday. Hey, anything is possible, right?

Between that and Amarillo Social Club opening up recently, you know, the place you can go play poker tourneys at, why are we still in a spot where we can't do a little gambling? I get all the reasons against it, but a lot of those reasons are something that an individual must control themselves.

If you want to check out what the buzz is all about with the games at Toot'n Totum, you can stop at pretty much any location. Some have more machines than others depending on what side of town you're on, but that's a different story all in its own right.

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