The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas passed the equal and fair opportunity settlement act this year. And according to that they should have equal opportunity to gamble in the tribal lands. The law introduced by Rep Brian Babin gives both the Tribes the right to gamble in the tribal land. They both have full rights under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988.
Despite the law, Senator Cornyn wants to prohibit gambling in tribal lands. In his statement he mentioned that current federal law prohibits gambling on tribal lands unless authorized by the State of Texas. He also used the name of three Republicans who think so – Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton. He emphatically mentioned how gambling is prohibited in Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta tribal lands.
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas are operating a Class II gaming since 2018. But Paxton thinks that it is against the law. There is a penalty for breaking the law which is $10,000. And now the penalty is around $12.1 million. It is huge amount to pay off.
The delay caused by Cornyn is causing doubts in the minds of the two tribes. They assumed that Cornyn along with other elected leaders are prioritizing politics over equality in Texas. And the tribe isn’t going to sit back anymore, they made a statement that they would like to exert their sovereign rights. Every tribe is free to take their own decision, and according to the gaming law they should be able to gamble.