POLK COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – After a lawsuit spanning many years, a judge decided that the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas can legally operate its bingo facility in Polk County.
In a ruling issued early this week, Judge Keith F. Giblin denied the state’s request to put a stop to the bingo gaming currently offered on the reservation.
A legal battle began in 2001, with the tribe filing a complaint against the state of Texas and some officials, citing an imminent threat presented by the state potentially interfering in the Tribe’s exercise of its rights to offer certain gaming activities on Tribal lands.
The tribe cited provisions in two acts (the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988) that they said gave them the right to operate their Naskila gaming facility.
In 2002, a ruling was issued, stating that the tribe was “prohibited from conducting casino gaming.”
The state filed again in 2016, stating that the tribe was in violation of that ruling by continuing their bingo gaming.
Since bingo is regulated by the state, it is not considered “prohibited.” In the opinion handed down earlier this week, the court found that bingo is not prohibited by Texas law and, unless the state bans bingo outright, the game at Naskila can continue.
The Restoration Act only forbids activities on tribal lands that are prohibited, not regulated, by the state.
Naskila Gaming is located in East Texas, just 15 minutes out of Livingston in Polk County. There is over 30,000 square feet of gaming facility.
They have over 790 electronic games and are open 24/7.
The facility has an active Twitter presence, but it has not released any statement about the lawsuit as of Friday afternoon.