Casino-style gambling or the survival of Texas horse racing?  The state's Racing Commission could decide next month on a controversial proposal to allow "historical racing" or “instant racing” at the track.

These are animated terminals which allow wagers to bet on previously run races without knowing the names of horses, where or when. 

Mary Ruyle at the Texas Thoroughbred Association believes they'll bring in much needed revenue for tracks like Sam Houston Race Park.

"More purse money translates to better horses at the race track which translates into more wagering," Ruyle tells KTRH News.

However, Rob Kohler at the Texas Baptists’ Christian Life Commission calls it another backdoor attempt to allow slot-like machines in order to save a struggling business.

"What other business would we subsidize and say gee whiz I'm sorry things aren't working out for you, instead of making burgers, put one of these slot machines in there and maybe that will make enough money for you?" Kohler asks.

An informal hearing was held Wednesday in Austin.  A final decision could come at the Racing Commission's meeting August 12.

Kohler says he admires gambling advocates for continuing to press the issue, but calls it a matter for the Texas Legislature.

"They're allowed to think that way, but how things work in this state is they need to vote and send people to Austin who agree with them," he says.

However, Ruyle believes the commission is the correct venue.

"This falls within the parameters of what the Texas Racing Commission has been authorized to regulate by the Texas Racing Act," she says.