Texas lawmakers to debate tribal gaming bill

The Texas House is set to debate a tribal gaming bill this week.

HB10 would allow the Tigua Tribe and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe to reopen their casinos. It prevents the state from prosecuting the tribes from offering Class III games,

The tribes had operated casinos until they were shut down by the state through a federal lawsuit. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the tribes agreed to submit to state gaming laws when they were restored to federal recognition.

The decision crippled both tribes, forcing them to lay off hundreds of employees and cut key social service programs. The tribes became entagled in the Jack Abramoff scandal after documents showed the convicted lobbyist lobbied to shut down the casinos before approaching them as clients.

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Gambling may make modest gains (The Dallas Morning News 4/30)