AC Tribe calls on congress


Indian Gaming Regulatory Act

The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas 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 Texas

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
How is Class II gaming defined?
Class II gaming is defined as the game of chance commonly known as Bingo. Tribes retain their authority to conduct, license and regulate Class II gaming as long as the state in which the tribe is located permits such gaming for any purpose, and the tribal government adopts a gaming ordinance approved by the Commission. Tribal governments are responsible for regulating Class II gaming, with Commission oversight.
Who does Texas allow for Class II gaming?

Class II

  • Charitable Bingo
  • IGRA Class II (Kickapoo Tribe of Texas)
What is H.R. 759?
H.R. 759 adds a new section to the Restoration Act that provides “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.).”
Why is H.R. 759 needed?

After years of litigation, there are still varying interpretations between the judicial branch and the National Indian Gaming Commission on how the Restoration Act and IGRA (two federal statutes) interact.

When H.R. 759 is approved, what is the result?

H.R. 759 clarifies that the Restoration Act would allow Tribes to offer gaming under IGRA, just like the only other federally recognized Tribe in Texas that has offered Bingo since 1996.

Will Naskila Gaming stay open during litigation?

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.

How can I show support for H.R. 759?

You can email or write to your elected officials and tell them of your support for HR 759. Presently, this would be to Senator Cornyn, Senator Cruz and Governor Abbott. We invite you to directly email our elected officials right now.