The U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Indian Gaming Commission recently affirmed the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe’s right to operate gaming activities on its 10,200-acre reservation near Livingston, Texas. The tribe has pursued state and federal approval of gaming activities since its Speaking Rock Casino closed in 2002, when the Texas attorney general sued the tribe over the type of entertainment operations it could offer. At the time, Speaking Rock was a full-blown casino, but has offered only sweepstakes games and hosted concerts since then. The number of employees dropped from 1,200 to 500.
Tigua Governor Carlos Hisa said the ruling will clear the way for Class II electronic bingo gaming at Speaking Rock, with the NIGC assuming regulatory duties over gaming operations; formerly the U.S. District Court in El Paso determined what could be offered.