US House Unanimously Says Yes To Texas Tribal Casinos

Barbara Schwarz
July 26, 2019 - 6:16 am
Casino

Credit: J.Burkett Photo

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - The fate of a current and former Tribal casino in Texas is now in the hands of the US senate.

By a unanimous vote, the house passed the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Settlement Act.  It would re-open the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo of the Tigua tribe casino in El Paso and leave the Alabama Coushatta Caison open in Polk County.  Both have been shuttered and re-opened at least once. 

The Alamaba Coushatta Casino has been re-opened since 2016 and has fought legal battles since then to stay open.

Cecilia Flores, tribal chairwoman for the Alabama Coushatta tribe of Texas says "sales tax is up in Polk County.  Unemployment is down and child support is up. It's been a positive, It would mean the world to us."  She also says she spoke to Senator John Cornyn in May, and he told her he would support the bill in the senate if it passed the house.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Congressman Brian Babin, and the Polk County casino is in his district.  He says the casino has created over 500 jobs and contributes 140 million dollars in economic activity each year.   "But all of those benefits and more aren't just at risk if this bill doesn't pass, they're guaranteed to go away."

Republican Congressman Will Hurd's sprawling West Texas District is home to a number of Native American tribes.  "For all the blessings bestowed upon the Lone Star State, we still fall short in our efforts of providing true economic stability to our Native American tribes."

He stresses the game they're asking host is bingo.   The slots that are in, or will be in place are class II, meaning the outcome is based on bingo games.