POLK COUNTY, TX (News Release) - On Tuesday, the Polk County Commissioners approved a resolution in support of federal legislation that will allow the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe to continue operating its Naskila Gaming electronic bingo facility. While the State of Texas is continuing its legal challenges against Naskila Gaming, U.S. Congressman Brian Babin is sponsoring a bill, HR 4985, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Equal and Fair Opportunity Settlement Act, that will clarify the authorization of the National Indian Gaming Commission which allows the Tribe to conduct its current Class II gaming operations.
"I want to thank Judge Murphy and all of the Polk County Commissioners. We are grateful that they have approved this resolution in support of HR 4985 that will forever end the threat of legal action from the state of Texas," said JoAnn Battise, Tribal Council Chairperson for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe.
"The resolution signals to Congress that there is strong regional support for electronic bingo on our Tribe's reservation here in Polk County. Their support has been steadfast since we first announced plans to open Naskila Gaming.
"Naskila Gaming has been a blessing to our Tribe and to the 330 full-time employees of Naskila, sixty percent of who are non-tribal members, who have good paying jobs with healthcare benefits. Naskila's annual payroll, including salaries and benefits, is $16.8 million. We have been fighting to stay open and protect these jobs since the state first filed the suit against us and we will continue to fight this injustice. We have been overwhelmed by the patronage and support of Naskila Gaming from visitors throughout the state. It has emerged as a significant contributor to the Deep East Texas economy.
"We are grateful that Congressman Babin is working diligently to protect these Deep East Texas jobs and believe other members of the Texas Congressional delegation will join in this effort," Battise concluded.