|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - April 2009
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Gaming bills still in committee
Polk County Enterprise - April 2009
LIVINGSTON — Leaders of the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribe continue to closely monitor 15 bills that could reopen the tribe’s gaming center that employed more than 495 people in Polk County. With the $178.4 billion state budget bill out of the way, gambling supporters hope the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures can refocus on the gaming legislation left pending after a public hearing April 8. Tribal Council Chairman Carlos Bullock said supporters are trying to work out how many destination resorts and racetracks would be included in enabling legislation. “They’re looking at an omnibus bill that includes everybody, but it’s difficult to say how many interests are involved,” Bullock said Thursday. “Everybody has their own wants and concerns. We don’t want multiple facilities in the Houston area. We want to protect the market.” “I think we’ve gotten that point across,” Bullock said. He adds that gaming supporters are hoping to have a committee vote in the next couple of weeks. “There are just so many people invested in this thing — there’s a lot of bickering between the various interests,” Bullock said. Some of the interests that are somewhat at cross purposes with the Native American tribes are horse and dog racing tracks have been licensed but have never broken ground on a facility, some want to move them into southeast Texas and have a gaming facility, according to Bullock. The bills pending in committee are: H.B. 1724 by Menendez, et al. Relating to the authorization and regulation of casino and slot gaming in this state, the creation, powers, and duties of the Texas Gaming Commission, and the powers and duties of the Texas Racing Commission; providing penalties. HB 2325 by Raymond Relating to local option elections to legalize or prohibit the operation of eightliners and imposing a fee on eightliner owners; providing penalties. HB 3239 by Quintanilla — Relating to the creation of legislative committees to study proposals on the conduct of gaming in this state. HB 4018 by Gutierrez — Relating to local option elections to legalize or prohibit the operation of amusement redemption machines and imposing a fee on amusement redemption machines; providing penalties. HB 4062 Gonzalez Toureilles — Relating to authorizing the operation of video lottery games by licensed horse and greyhound racetrack operators, to providing a defense for the operation of video lottery by Indian tribes, to the authority of the Texas Lottery Commission and the Texas Racing Commission, and to the conduct of gambling in this state; providing penalties. HB 4416 Kuempel — Relating to the establishment of the Texas Gaming Commission to regulate games of chance or other gaming activities at specific locations including dog or horse tracks, destination resort casinos, or on Indian tribal lands. HJR 5 by King, Tracy O. — Proposing a constitutional amendment to authorize the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas to conduct gaming by executing a gaming agreement with this state. HJR 70 by Menendez | et al. — Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing and regulating slot machines and casino games by licensed operators and certain Indian tribes to provide additional money to fund transportation in this state and to provide additional financial aid for higher education students. HJR 79 by Raymond — Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing local option elections to legalize or prohibit the operation of eight-liners. HJR 86 by Chavez — Proposing a constitutional amendment providing that gambling or other gaming activity by federally recognized Indian tribes on tribal land is not prohibited by Texas law. HJR 87 by Chavez — Proposing a constitutional amendment requiring the state to treat recognized Indian tribes equally with regard to authorizing gambling or other gaming activity on tribal land. HJR 99 by Quintanilla | et al. Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to legalize and regulate the conduct of gaming in this state in counties that by local option election approve the conduct of that gaming. HJR 107 by Alvarado | et al. — Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to authorize and provide for regulating the conduct of gaming in this state and requiring the governor to call the legislature into special session to consider gaming legislation. HJR 129 by Gonzalez Toureilles — Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the state to operate video lottery games at certain horse and greyhound racetracks and providing that federally recognized Indian tribes are not prohibited from conducting gaming on certain Indian lands. HJR 137 by Kuempel — Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing and regulating games of chance or other gaming activities at specific locations including dog or horse race tracks, destination resort casinos, or on Indian tribal lands.