Alabama-Coushatta Tribe aims to open casino next year

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas held its 47th annual powwow in June 2015. Photo from Facebook

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe plans to rejoin the gaming industry in 2016, 14 years after it was forced to close its successful casino.

The facility will be located in the same building as the old one, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Plans call for about 300 Class II gaming machines in what's being billed as an "entertainment center," the paper said.

"We feel like we can be successful with this venture and people want it," spokesperson Carlos Bullock told the paper.

The tribe has yet to submit a facility license for the site, a spokesperson for the National Indian Gaming Commission told the paper. But the tribe already cleared a major hurdle when the agency approved its Class II gaming ordinance in early October.

The decision came after the Office of the Solicitor at the Interior Department concluded that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act applies to the tribe. The law "impliedly repealed" a provision in the Alabama-Coushatta Restoration Act that was previously used to prohibit gaming on the reservation, according to a September 10 letter sent to the Tigua Tribe, whose restoration law includes a similar provision.

The state was successful in using the prohibition to shut down the casino in 2002 but officials are declining to comment on the latest development.

Get the Story:
Texas casino to open in 2016? (The Fort Worth Star-Telegram 11/7)

An Opinion:
Legal bingo offers major opportunity for tribe, region (The Beaumont Enterprise 11/8)

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