Litigation

Tigua Tribe agrees to state inspection of disputed gaming facility




The Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo owns and operates the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso, Texas. Photo from Facebook

The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, also known as the Tigua Tribe, has agreed to let the state of Texas conduct a "videotaped inspection" of a disputed gaming facility.

The tribe has been offering bingo games at the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center, according to The El Paso Times. The state believes the games violate an order not to engage in certain forms of gaming on the reservation.

But Judge Kathleen Cardone said the state so far has not provided any proof. She issued a three-page order on Friday, denying motions to hold the tribe in contempt and denying motion for preliminary injunctions against the tribe.

At the same time, she said the state's inspection of Speaking Rock could lead to new information about the tribe's activities. But even if that's the case, she urged the state to file a new lawsuit instead of trying to keep the current one -- which was initiated in September 1999 -- going.

In her order, the contents of which were first reported by The Times, Cardone said the state "will be better situated to produce evidence of contempt or other violations of law, if such evidence exists, after plaintiff conducts a physical inspection of the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center."

Speaking Rock was once home to a thriving casino until the state filed the lawsuit back in 1999. The federal courts agreed that the tribe was not allowed to engage in Class III gaming and the facility was shut down.

The tribe, though, continue to offer other types of games and even won approval from the National Indian Gaming Commission to offer Class II games like bingo. But Cardone refused to sanction those efforts because she said the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals already decided the underlying issue in the dispute.

Read More on the Story:
Judge: Texas gaming case against Tiguas closed (The El Paso Times 3/10)
Tigua fight with Texas continues despite progress (The El Paso Times 3/6)

Relevant Documents:
National Indian Gaming Commission Letter to Ysleta del Sur Pueblo (October 5, 2015)
Office of The Solicitor Letter to National Indian Gaming Commission (September 10, 2015)

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