The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe is Seeking Fair and Equal Treatment Regarding Class II Indian Gaming in Texas

(June 21, 2019)  –  The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Settlement Act (House Resolution 759), authored by Congressman Brian Babin of Texas, clarifies the right of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe to offer electronic bingo games at their entertainment facility on the reservation.

There are three federally recognized Tribes in Texas.  Only one Tribe, the Kickapoo, are legally allowed to offer Class II gaming on its reservation.  This is not fair.

In order to correct that imbalance, HR 759, if passed by Congress will do the following;

  • Corrects conflicting congressional statutes stemming from the 1987 Restoration Act and the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act;
  • DOES NOT allow Class III Vegas style gaming such as table and card games against the house.
  • Allows for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe to conduct electronic bingo and only electronic bingo on their reservations;
  • Provides for the equal and fair opportunity for tribal economic development in the State of Texa

Thousands of Native American tribes in this country operate gaming facilities.  There are three classes of Indian Gaming.

  • Class I – Traditional Tribal games
  • Class II – Bingo
  • Class III – Games of chance against the House

Frequently Asked Questions About HR 759 – A Bill Pending in Congress Regarding Indian Gaming

What is House Resolution 759?

H.R. 759 – Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Settlement Act – authored by Congressman Brian Babin of Texas.

H.R. 759 is 19 words long and reads: “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preclude or limit the applicability of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.).”

What are the highligts of H.R. 759?

  • Provides for the equal and fair opportunity for tribal economic development in the State of Texas;
  • Corrects conflicting congressional statutes stemming from the 1987 Restoration Act and the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act;
  • Allows for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo to conduct electronic bingo and only electronic bingo on their reservations;
  • DOES NOT allow Class III Vegas style gaming such as table and card games; under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act-Class III Gaming requires a compact with the state, 25 U.S.C. § 2701(3).

 

Who authored H.R. 759?

In January 2019, U.S. Representative Brian Babin (R-TX) introduced H.R. 759.  There are currently 24 co-sponsors, including 7 from the Texas delegation.  There are 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats among these co-sponsors.

Is the State of Texas challenging gaming on Tribal lands?

Yes. The State of Texas filed a legal challenge to Naskila Gaming. The Attorney General of the State of Texas has asked a Federal District Court to find that under the Tribe’s Restoration Act of 1987, the Alabama-Coushatta cannot offer gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulation Act (IGRA), passed in 1988.

How Can I Show Support for the Tribe and HR 759?

You can email your elected officials and tell them of your support for HR 759 by going to the home page now.

Will Naskila Gaming remain open during the legal proceedings?

Yes. The Alabama-Coushatta will continue to operate the Naskila Gaming facility. The state may be seeking a permanent closure, but until there is a court ruling affirming the state’s allegations, the Alabama-Coushatta will continue to operate the facility.

Prior to Naskila’s opening, Tribal Council directed the Tribal Attorneys to begin communicating with the Texas Attorney General’s Office and a Pre-Litigation Agreement between the Tribe and the Attorney General’s Office was reached which will allow Naskila Gaming to remain open during court proceedings. This is not the same legal case it was in 2001-2002.

The Alabama-Coushatta are now operating the bingo gaming facility pursuant to federal authorization similar to Tribes all over the country. The bingo revenue derived from Naskila Gaming is providing much needed funding for vital Tribal government programs.

When did the Naskila Gaming facility open for business?

May 17, 2016 – The Naskila Entertainment Center opens its doors for business. June 2, 2016 – Grand Opening CelebrationGrandOpening