December 13, 2008
LIVINGSTON, TX - The Alabama-Coushatta and Tigua tribes hope to reopen their casinos, which were closed in 2002 by court orders sought by then-Attorney General John Cornyn. The Tiguas had been operating their Speaking Rock casino for nine years, producing $60 million annually for housing, health care and education for their 1,600 tribal members. The Alabama-Coushatta had been operating its casino for only nine months, generating $1 million per month for their 1,100 tribal members.
The only tribe in Texas that is currently operating a casino is the Kickapoo in Eagle Pass. They own and operate the Lucky Eagle Casino under authorization by the federal government and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The Alabama-Coushatta and Tigua tribes will be seeking Texas legislation in 2009 to reopen their casinos.
"In the end we'll be successful. It's just not easy," said tribal council chairman Carlos Bullock. He is working with the Tigua tribe of El Paso to get an Indian casino bill introduced and passed when lawmakers convene in January.
"We are lining up our ducks," said Carlos Hisa, lieutenant governor for the Tigua tribe. "We are considering everything."
Both tribes have hired prominent consultants and lobbyists in Austin, and they know there will be strong opposition from Baptist and social conservative activists
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