LIVINGSTON, Texas (KETK) – The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case against Naskila Gaming by the State of Texas.
For years, the state has filed lawsuits to close the building, saying that the facility should not exist since they aren’t under the “Indian gaming regulatory act.”
Naskila Gaming, an electronic bingo facility on the reservation, is the second largest employer in Polk County and is operated by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments from this trine, which is one of the only federally recognized Native American tribes here in Texas.
Nita Battise has served 10 years as an Alabama-Coushatta tribal council.
“As a sovereign nation, that we do count, that we matter..” said Battise.
The long standing legal battle between her people and the state of Texas is wearing her down.
“Sleepless nights sometime I’m here, in the wee hours of the morning, thinking to myself ‘What more can I do what more can be done?’,” said Battise.
Battise said that she wants their situation is at the point that someone has to understand it.
This year, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo tribe in El Paso sent a similar complaint to the US supreme court.
Since the Alabama-Coushatta and the Pueblo are governed under the same federal law, whatever the court decides will affect both tribes.
More than 700 East Texas jobs are on the line.
“Folks here really appreciate the opportunity to work and provide for their families.” Herbert Johnson Jr, Naskila Gaming public relations
This gaming facility currently generates around $170 million of revenue annually that helps keep people employed.
“Not only jobs, but new businesses, new ventures have been coming into Polk County and the surrounding counties,” said Johnson.
Until a decision is made, all parties have agreed to allow both tribes to operate gaming facilities.
Here’s Battise’s message to Gov. Abott:
“Let’s sit down together and break bread and let’s discuss what’s good for the Alabama Chaushatta people but for this region of East Texas and overall the state of Texas,”Nita Battise, Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Council
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