The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas has a champion in the state Senate.
Senate Joint Resolution 30, sponsored by Sen. Roland Gutierrez, is a bill that seeks a state gaming compact with the tribal organization in order to secure its position within the state.
The move comes on the heels of a spate of political announcements indicating support for commercial gambling in Texas under state law.
Under federal law, the three sovereign gaming entities in Texas are on equal footing. They are Speaking Rock Entertainment Center in El Paso, Naskila Gaming in Livingston, and Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas
Kickapoo is the only enterprise of the three that has been allowed to flourish unmolested. The casino origins are recorded in the semi-fictional movie, “Casino Jack”. The enterprise is asking to be able to offer any form of gambling that occurs within 200 miles of the current casino and to not pay more than 3% taxes on the net win.
The simple request will task lawmakers with constitutional questions that are easily answered.
Mark Cuban let it be known earlier he wouldn’t mind shifting the locale of his team in good time. A casino, and an arena in Dallas? Sure why not.
Bipartisan Call For Commercial Gambling in Texas
Both gubernatorial candidates expressed support for a citizen’s initiative on the issue. Both Beto O’Rourke and Gov. Abbott spoke in support of citizen-driven approval.
A bill filed before the start of the session told the public that change was coming. Senate Joint Resolution 17 asked lawmakers to create a gambling commission, Carol Alvarado broke the ice.
House Speaker Dade Phelan has indicated he’s totally okay with letting the people decide.
The Gutierrez bill states: “If, after January 1, 2024, this state by general law or constitutional amendment authorizes video lottery terminals, slot machines, or other forms of gaming not otherwise authorized before that date within 200 miles of the boundary of the reservation of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas near Eagle Pass, Texas, the tribe is authorized to offer the same types of games or devices as authorized under that law or amendment at a location designated by the tribe.
“A tax or fee may not be imposed on the tribe in an amount that exceeds the amount of a tax or fee imposed on the operators of other gaming facilities in this state.”
Source: Texas bill seeks to guarantee Kickapoo Tribe’s position in gambling, iGaming Business, January 23, 2023