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Tribe's Supreme Court Win Could Herald Eventual Casino Legalization In Texas

A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for the future legalization of casinos in Texas.


The 5-4 ruling, which overturned a decision by the 5th Circuit Court, allows the Tigua Indians of El Paso to offer electronic bingo at Speaking Rock casino, according to the El Paso Times. The decision rested on a federal law that allows gaming activities on tribal land that are not banned in Texas, such as bingo.

“The tribe is obviously very pleased with the vindication offered by the opinion handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States this morning, and the fact that the court agreed with our interpretation of the Restoration Act,” Brant Martin, a Fort Worth attorney representing the Tiguas, told El Paso NBC affiliate KTSM. “We look forward to continuing the litigation in the lower courts under the guidance provided by the Supreme Court.”

Tribes in Texas that have wanted to offer bingo may benefit from the ruling, according to Seeking Alpha. The decision could also advance the fight to legalize casinos in the state, analysts predict. Las Vegas Sands, an advocate for casino legalization in Texas, plans to pursue a November ballot referendum that would do just that, per Seeking Alpha.

“I  congratulate all those who worked on behalf of the Tiguas to help reverse targeted discrimination they’ve had to endure, grant this community its right to sovereignty and to usher in the economic independence that will come with this ruling,” U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Democrat who represents El Paso, said in a statement. “While the Tiguas rightfully celebrate this win today, I remain committed to ensuring their legal right is codified forever into law.”