Indian casinos in Texas - the push for
The Indian tribes in the state
of Texas continue to urge the local lawmakers to go through with
the gambling bill which would allow casino on tribal land.
The Alabama-Coushatta tribe in
East Texas are in the middle of the debates, releasing earlier a
survey commissioned by the tribes and conducted by by Baselice
and Associates of Austin. The survey of 1,000 Texans in the
beginning of April found that 66% (± 3.1%)of
the surveyed approve of Indian casinos in Texas. The tribe also
claims that over $3 billion every year is gambled by the people
of Texas in the neighbouring states with legalized gambling.
Total of three Indian tribes could take advantage of the
proposed gambling bill and build casinos in Texas:
Alabama-Coushatta, Tigua and the Kickapoo tribes.
According to the
Alabama-Coushatta, legal casinos on Indian reservations would
immensely help the tribe combat poverty, and would contribute to
improved health care and education among its members. The tribes
in Texas used to run casinos which were closed under a state
The gambling bill (HB 10)
should be voted on today, and would ensure defense from
prosecution for the Indian casinos; in addition 5% of the casino
revenues would go to the Texas college scholarship fund. The
bill was initially scheduled for voting last week, but it was
suspended from the floor due to a technicality. It had also met
a strong opposition from the Baptist Church and some
According to Alabama-Coushatta
tribe's data, the tribe has 46% unemployment rate, with a median
household income of only $10,809. Tribe members with a four-year
college degree account for less than 1%. Their reservation in
Texas is a little over 7,000 square miles.