State files paperwork to challenge opening of East Texas casino

Local News

The state of Texas has recently filed paperwork indicating they will once again try to shutter the doors of an East Texas casino.

On July 14, the Texas Attorney General’s Office submitted paperwork with the United States District Court Eastern District of Texas stating their intention to file a motion for contempt against the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. The motion stems from the opening of “Naskila,” a gaming facility near Livingston.

Back in October 2015, the National Indian Gaming Commission issued a letter concluding the Tribe is regulated under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and can provide “Class II” gaming, even if it is in conflict with Texas laws.

The case was reopened to determine if the IGRA applies to the Tribe, or does the Tribe’s Restoration Act control and if IGRA controls, do operations at Naskila consist of “Class II” gaming? Naskila argues if the Restoration Act controls, they can legally operate without state oversight.

State officials will the contempt motion on grounds of previous injunction in 2002, which barred gaming at Naskila.

The gaming center is located on a 10,000 acre reservation about 15 miles from Livingston. It focuses on bingo games, both hard copy and electronic.

A spokesman for the Tribe stated the original operation brought in a around a million dollars a month, but was shut down nine months after it opened.

A Tigua tribe was also granted permission to operate Class II gambling machines on the tribe’s reservation in El Paso.

The state has the right to challenge the El Paso casino plans, but officials have yet to comment on what Texas plans to do.

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