Posts Tagged ‘Alabama-Coushatta’

Where Poker Currently Stands in Texas

by , Jan 24, 2009 | 5:33 pm

This article breaks down what issues on the Texas Lege’s radar in 2009 — essentially our political competition. Gambling is high up on the list of matters to tackle, but others will be seeking to hoist the gambling flag (for better of for worse). Specifically, The Dallas Morning News explains:

Is luck in the cards for casino, slot machine bills?

Proponents of expanded gambling in Texas will be back in full force this session, fighting for Las Vegas-style casinos, slot machines at racetracks, tribal gaming rights and legalized poker.

Bills to open casino gambling statewide are unlikely to go far, though the struggling economy may give them slightly more traction. Even if a bill passed, Gov. Rick Perry would probably veto it.

But measures granting special permission for the Alabama-Coushatta and Tigua tribes to reopen their casinos – shuttered in 2002 after a court order by then-Attorney General John Cornyn – may well succeed. The tribal reservations have struggled to fund basic services since the casinos that ran their local economies closed, and very narrowly missed getting legislation approved last session.

Past efforts to legalize slot machines at racetracks have fallen prey to industry infighting, but the horse racers and breeders are presenting a unified front this year. Though they would appear to have an ally in likely House Speaker Joe Straus, who has financial ties to the Retama Park racetrack his father helped found, it’s still unclear what good it will do. Straus has said that in his new role, he will do nothing to further racetrack legislation.

FACT: Advocates of legalized poker have filed legislation to develop a regulated poker gaming system in Texas.