The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, also called the Kickapoo Indians cautions lawmakers against allowing commercial casinos. It claims that such a move will adversely affect its economic sovereignty in the Lone Star State.
The Native tribe owns and runs the Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel. It plans to provide table games and slot machines if the state's Legislature decides to accept commercial gaming developers. Still, it heavily relies on its casino hotel that provides non-house banked games such as bingo and poker, and over 3,330 gaming slot machines.
Texas currently prohibits commercial gaming sites. Besides, its leaders haven't formed Class III gaming agreements with the three local Native tribes. This limits Native American casinos to operating Class II and I gaming formats that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) allows.
IGRA was created in 1998 and it permits federally recognized Native tribes to provide non-banked card games and bingo-based games in their jurisdictions. They have to form a Class III gaming compact with Texas to offer Las Vegas-style table games and slot machines.
The Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel lacks this compact. So, its slots are electronic gaming gadgets which determine winning and losing spins using bingo simulations.
The Gaming Standoff
The Lone Star State's leaders have persistently denied full-scale casino operators an opportunity to venture into the local gaming market. They include casinos which commercial firms such as Las Vegas Sands or the Native tribes will operate.
Las Vegas Sands has consistently tried to seek a gaming license in Austin of late. Yet, its efforts have led to ongoing casino conversations.
The Legislature is deliberating on a joint resolution which will present the sports gambling issue in a ballot to voters. It will seek Texans' opinions about legalizing sports gambling if the Senate and House pass the statute.
Another bill intends to allow casinos in the state and the House is expected to consider it soon. If the voters and Legislature pass it, it will give Fort Worth-Dallas the green light to host two integrated casino resorts.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) stated that Governor Greg Abbott's government isn't concentrating on broadening the state's gambling industry. But, legislative efforts have encouraged the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas to express its view on commercial gaming.
The current proposed casino regulation prevents the Kickapoos from offering live dealer table games and installing gaming machines at Lucky Eagle. Juan Garza, the tribe's chair, said that out-of-state interests in the sports gambling and casino bills have excluded them from the constitutional amendments.
Yet, they have lived in the state for over 200 years. Moreover, it is discouraging for politicians to prioritize large casino companies over the Native tribe's economic sovereignty.
The Kickapoos, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas are urging lawmakers to allow them to own Class III gaming properties. The Ysleta Tribe doesn't engage in gaming while the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe runs the Naskila Casino.