Texas resolution would pave way for Kickapoo gaming compact

Chairs bearing the state seal of Texas
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Multiple lawmakers in Texas are introducing bills to expand the limited gambling options in the state. State Sen. Roland Gutierrez and state Rep. Eddie Morales aim to ensure that tribes within the state are included in that expansion.

Both have introduced a joint resolution proposing an amendment allowing for the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas to create a gaming compact with the state.

The resolution also states that if lawmakers allow for any expanded gambling within 200 miles of the Kickapoo reservation, the Kickapoo will be allowed to offer the same type of gambling at a tribal casino location. This location must be within 300 miles of the reservation but cannot be within 30 miles of a state racetrack.

Kickapoo is one of three federally recognized tribes in the state. It is also the only tribe with an existing casino, Lucky Eagle. The Lucky Eagle property offers slots, poker, and bingo and is located southwest of San Antonio near the Mexico border.

The other two tribes in the state, Yselta del Sur Pueblo and Alamaba and Coushatta, recently prevailed in a Supreme Court case with allowed bingo on their tribal lands. That is the extent of their gaming offerings.

As with any constitutional amendment, this bill faces a difficult path. It would need a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate, the approval of Gov. Greg Abbott, and to be put to the voters on an upcoming ballot in order to succeed.