State looking to again close Alabama-Coushatta gaming

The bingo gaming hall opened in April. (KTRE staff)
The bingo gaming hall opened in April. (KTRE staff)

POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - It's only been operating a couple months, but the future of the Alabama-Coushatta electronic bingo gaming hall is again in jeopardy due to the state of Texas stating they will seek a contempt order.

The Alabama-Coushatta tribe opened the gaming hall in May, after the US Department of Interior affirmed the tribe had the right to operate a Class 2 gaming facility, but they are now looking to challenge that decision.

A document filed in the United States District Court for the eastern district of Lufkin division states, "Defendant The State of Texas files this Opposed Motion to Withdraw Counsel and Designation of Attorney in Charge; and to realign the parties to permit the State of Texas to proceed as Movant and Plaintiff in order to seek a finding of contempt and alternately equitable declaratory and injunctive relief."

The tribe first opened a Class 3 casino in 2001 which had the traditional casino games. Although the federal court sided with the state of Texas and forced the tribe to shut it down which is their intent with the new motion filed

The current bingo hall employs more than 200 people and the tribe says they need it to help compensate for a deficit and declining federal funding.

The tribe has even agreed to forgo 270 million dollars from the federal government, a sum suggested by a U.S. court as compensation for the tribe's past losses and trespassing damages.

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