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As Texas Grapples With Gambling Expansion, Tribe Announces Plans For New Casino

Written By Tebearau Egbe | Updated:
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The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas made headlines recently when it revealed plans to build a new casino resort. This action could be a calculated attempt to get in front of the potential gaming expansion in Texas.

Tribal authorities believe that by growing their gaming businesses, they can create new job opportunities, improve tourism in the area, and increase money for tribal services and activities. On top of that, the tribe plans to partner with local businesses to create an active entertainment district that will entice guests from around the area to the casino resort.

While Texas online casinos have not been on the table, there has been discussion about legalizing retail casinos and sports betting in the state. Keep track of US iGaming bills through our online casino bill tracker.

What to expect from a new casino resort by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas

The federally recognized tribe plans for the new US tribal casino to be on their land in Polk County. Other amenities were announced on April 15, including:

  • Hotel accommodations
  • State-of-the-art casino floor with table games, poker games, slot machines
  • Spa facilities
  • Varied dining options
  • Other entertainment options

According to the Tribe’s news release, FFKR Architects has been contracted to design the new casino resort.

The tribe also revealed its plan to remodel its existing Ishoopa/One Stop Convenience Store and Truck Stop. This will include adding electronic bingo machines, the release said.

In an Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas news statement, Tribal Council Chairman Ricky Sylestine said the new casino will benefit Texas residents and visitors:

“We are incredibly excited to embark on this new chapter. This new casino resort will not only provide significant economic benefits for those living and working in the region, but it will also become a vibrant destination for visitors.”

Alabama-Coushatta Tribe runs Naskila Casino in Livingston

Currently, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe owns and runs the Naskila Casino in Livingston, Texas. It is located 15 minutes away by car from Livingston’s Main Street and only a short stroll from Tombigbee Lake.

Its popularity also extends beyond Houston, Texas, as it is located just one hour outside of the metropolis.

The facility has more than 800 electronic games, a restaurant, premium gaming memberships, easy shuttle services, and other enticing amenities.

In addition to having this facility, the tribe’s officials are determined to build Polk County’s premier casino resort, even in the face of opposition from anti-gambling groups.

Texas faces hurdles with gambling expansion concerns

As the leader of the Texas Senate, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has considerable say on which bill is taken up for debate. From time immemorial, he has been fiercely against the idea of expanding gambling options in the state.

However, he mentioned laws about gambling need a strong push from advocates in both legislative bodies, implying that proponents of the bills aren’t doing enough to see it through.

Despite the opposition from anti-gambling groups, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has shown his unwavering support for more gambling, including online sports betting. “It’s time to end offshore, illicit markets for sports betting,” he said via a tweet on X in February.

Perry also claims that illegal offshore betting has generated about $8.7 billion in bets. However, he did not specify whether this figure is for annual bets generated.

Amid this controversy, Las Vegas Sands has indicated its interest in expanding into Texas and New York. The operator is doing so by “trying to facilitate the development of integrated resorts in the state of Texas and through the legalization of gaming,” Patrick Dumont, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corps, said early this year. His family, owners of the Sands, bought the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks last year.

Las Vegas Sands is backing an effort by the Texas Destination Resort Alliance for a referendum to bring expanded gaming to the state.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe has written about gambling for more than four years. She has a Master's degree in philosophy and possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives for readers.

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