Lawmakers in Texas have been battling with tribes over the right to operate casinos. For years now, two Texas tribes have fought for their right to operate small gambling venues. This week, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that allows the tribes to offer legal gambling.
It’s great news for the tribes and gambling fans in the state. Now is the perfect time to look at how this decision to allow Texas casino was made. We’ll also talk about exactly what forms of gambling these tribes are now allowed to offer.
History of Texas Vs. Native American Tribes
Texas is the second-most populous states in the US. For inexplicable reasons, lawmakers here have taken a hardline stance on the gambling industry. For decades, virtually all forms of gambling including casino games and sports betting have been completely illegal here.
In 1989, the US Supreme Court passed the Indian Gambling Regulatory Act. It gave Native American Tribes the legal right to operate casinos on tribal land. Unfortunately, many states have pushed against this.
Texas is one of the most anti-gambling states in the country. State officials have worked to stop tribes from operating any casino establishments. The Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta tribes fought back and opened their own gambling establishments despite Texas’ laws against it.
These tribes have been battling with Texas lawmakers in the courts for years. In January, Texas Representatives proposed the Fair Opportunity Settlement Act. This week, tribes in the state officially settled on the agreement.
Texas Tribes Can Now Operate Class II Casinos
Both of the aforementioned tribes currently operate land-based casinos in Texas. In 2016, the Alabama-Coushatta tribe opened a gambling venue in Livingston, Polk County. Lawmakers disagreed with the legality of this establishment. They’ve called for a $10,000 fine for each day it’s remained open, now amounting to more than $10 million.
The Tigua tribe opened a casino in El Paso back in 1993. Officials quickly shut this venue down. Now, the US Interior Department is claiming the state had no legal right to shut this popular gambling establishment down.
The US House of Representatives has officially passed the Fair Opportunity Settlement Act, giving tribes “overdue justice and fair treatment under law.” These two tribes now have free-reign to operate gambling venues. Strangely, these casinos have only been granted a Class II license.
This only allows the casinos to offer bingo games for money. Traditional casino games such as blackjack and slot machines are still banned. Nevertheless, these tribes are happy to see the state is finally allowing at least some forms of legal gambling.
Representative Will Hurd commented on the passing of this bill to the House floor this week.
“H.R. 759 is not about whether one agrees or disagrees with gambling. This bill isn’t about gambling. It’s about letting two tribes in two of Texas’ most economically distressed zones engage in what every other tribe in America engages in.”
Other Casino Gambling Options in Texas
Even with the passing of this bill, there are very limited land-based gambling options in this state. Fortunately, many amazing online casinos in Texas are now available. Most of these gambling sites offer a wide range of fun wagering options.
If you’re a slot fan, look for a gambling site offering hundreds of different slots. If you love playing table games, find a Texas casino site that provides you with popular games like blackjack and roulette! It’s that easy.
In recent years, live dealer games have grown extremely popular, too. These are casino games connected to a live video stream from a real-life dealer in a casino. It’s the best way to feel as if you’re really playing hands in a brick-and-mortar casino.
As you’d probably expect, more people are deciding to gamble online in Texas every year. Only two land-based gaming venues are now available here, both of which only offer bingo games. Check out some sites today and find one offering the games you want to play.
It’s great news to see Texas tribes win their fight to offer casino gambling. It’s very likely that within a few years, full-scale Class III casinos will be legalized here. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on this story over the next few months!