Texas tribes aim for level playing field with casino amendment

The Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso, Texas. Photo from Facebook

Gaming issues are back on the agenda in Texas as lawmakers consider the future of an industry that includes one tribal Class II facility, six full-time racetracks and an unknown number of illegal slot machine parlors across the state.

A constitutional amendment (SJR 51 and HJR 129) would put the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe and the Tigua Tribe back on the map. Both tribes operated Class III facilities that were shut down in response to litigation from the state.

The Lucky Eagle Casino on the Kickapoo Reservation in Texas. Photo from Facebook

If voters approve the amendment, it would put the tribes on the same field as the Kickapoo Tribe. The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino offers only Class II games because the state refuses to negotiate a Class III compact.

Separately, lawmakers are considering a different bill to authorize nine casinos across the state. Six of the licenses would be reserved for the operators of the six full-time racetracks, The Beaumont Enterprise reported.

That would mean the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma gets a license. A tribal subsidiary, Global Gaming Solutions, owns Lone Star Park and operates it under Texas law.

The tribe also operates the WinStar World Casino and Resort, an Indian gaming facility, near the Texas border. The tribe has repeatedly donated to politicians in Texas who oppose an expansion of gaming.

Get the Story:
Bill calls for constitutional amendment to allow gambling on Native American lands in Texas (The Daily Texas 4/6)
Would casinos even work in Texas? (The Beaumont Enterprise 4/6)
Major Casino Issues Awaiting Texas Officials Attention (Casino News Daily 4/6)

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