The Alabama Coushatta Tribe used to welcome hundreds of tourists but lately their streets have been empty. Now they're fighting to bring back the casino they once counted on for survival. "I think Indian casino's overall bring in more than 52 billion dollars a year and when we see Texas dollars going to neighboring states to gamble, we know we need one here."
The casino opened in 2001 but closed less than a year later, leaving the reservation wondering what would happen next. "When it ended after 9 months of operation it was like we went through a period of depression because we knew that it was a very successful venture." Those few months of operation brought quick revenue to the tribe. Some money was donated to the state, but the rest they used to make tribal life better. "We had planned to use it to improve our community, build more homes, build better roads, improve our infrastructure. We didn't have a chance to do that because we operated less than a year."