Texas Governor Rick Perry rebuffed a letter sent last month by the Kickapoo tribe in which the tribe tried to open discussions about reopening its casino, which has been closed for several years.
The governor’s spokesman said, “The governor is not in support of expanding the footprint of gambling in the state.”
Both the Kickapoo and the Tigua tribes want to reopen their casinos, something that Texas governors have stoutly resisted. The Tigua’s Speaking Rock casino was closed eight years ago.
Ironically, the state after which the most popular form of poker is named is also one of the most strictly anti-gambling states. Federal law allows tribes to offer whatever gaming the state offers, and the tribe’s letter tried to open a discussion based on the premise that since Texas has a lottery, that means that casino games of other types are also legal.
“The best way to resolve this dispute is to sit down with the state and negotiate a mutually beneficial Class III gaming compact,” Kickapoo Chairman Juan Garza Jr. wrote.
But Perry wasn’t buying it.
Since Perry has closed one door, the tribes are hoping that another will open during the opening session of the legislature. The Tigua tribe is gearing up to lobby Lone Star lawmakers, hoping to do just a bit better than two years ago, when a bill they supported was killed by one vote.
Since Texas, like most states, is facing budgetary woes, Chavez hopes that the possibility of generating some taxes might draw some support.