In just a few short weeks, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas has plans to open a Class II gaming facility.

The former Livingston Entertainment Center on its reservation is being converted by the tribe into Naskila Entertainment. Douglas Searle, a veteran of the tribal and commercial industry, is overseeing the operation and expects the 15,000 square-foot facility to be open in April. The casino will also include 365 gaming devices and a restaurant. Searle was hired three months ago from his position at an Arizona casino to launch and manage the new gaming operation which is approximately an hour north of the Houston metropolitan area.

Carpet is being ripped up and replaced, a modern digital security system is being added, and the entire electrical system has also been upgraded to the Adirondack-style lodge on its woodsy East Texas reservation. While the 365 electronic gaming machines pending shipment are described as bingo devices, it’s difficult to distinguish them from Las Vegas slots, which Texas law prohibits. Searle told The Austin-American Statesman that he thinks one of the biggest problems the tribe will face is having enough room to accommodate all of the people who want to visit the casino. When the facility opens its doors in a few weeks, it is expected to generate $1 million a month, according to Alabama-Coushatta tribal officials. According to Searle, plans for more table games and poker and gaming machines are already in the works, and further down the road a hotel, golf course and other amenities are being considered by the tribe.

The Alabama-Coushatta first offered gambling in 2001 only to have it shut down nine months later due to a federal court ruling resulting from a challenge launched by then Texas Attorney General John Cornyn; the same challenge that shut down the operations of the Tigua tribe of El Paso. Prior to being shut down, the Alabama-Coushatta’s casino generated approximately $1 million a month, according to tribe spokesman, Carlos Bullock. The tribe has struggled financially since it was forced to close in 2002, said Bullock, and added that the closing was devastating to the tribe, which lost revenue and jobs, all while casinos in nearby states, such as the Chickasaw Nation’s WinStar World Casino and Resort in Oklahoma, continued to flourish, as reported by the Star-Telegram.

The tribe received federal approval from the National Indian Gaming Commission last year to resume electronic betting (NIGC), citing a new interpretation from the Office of the Solicitor at the Interior Department. It was determined by the Obama administration that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) “impliedly repealed” the provision in the restoration act. The Tigua Tribe’s restoration law includes a similar provision, but the state has so far refused to accept the new interpretation as part of the ongoing lawsuit involving the tribe.

28 Responses

  1. Linda

    My husband and I love to play the slots and hope you open soon. Louisiana is too far to drive anymore for us. Helps to get out once in a while and will be better when you open so we don’t have to burden one of the kids to drive us to LA and back. You will only be 1 hour from us. We were very upset when you had to close before.

    Reply
  2. Lillian Smith

    I don’t understand how the state can regulate a legitimate Indian Reservation. Texas is losing a lot of
    revenue to Louisiana. It doesn’t make sense.

    Reply
    • SWalkerTTU

      The act of Congress that restored federal recognition to the Tiwa, Alabama and Koasati tribes (PL 100-89) specifically disallowed gaming that would have been prohibited by Texas law.

      Reply
  3. Merry Bishop

    My girls are Miami Indians & this Thrills me for your Tribe. Oklahoma & Louisiana are getting all the revenue from Gaming. When you pull into their Casinos all you see is TEXAS License plates. TEXAS is CRAZY for not raking in the Money, New Hotels , Jobs for everyone & Revenue. Just Crazy. I Hope your Casino is BLESSED. We will Be There!

    Reply
  4. Carolyn Brana

    This great news Put when are you going to open I what to be there

    Reply
  5. Sylvia Covey

    Hi there, will it be slot machines like when it was Frist opened and will there be alcohol served. Thank you !!

    Reply
  6. Becky

    QUIT POSTING ALL OVER THE INTERNET SHIT TO BASH THE RESERVATION!!!! The tribe is not behind your brothers pitiful murder. People die every day, those people are other people’s loved ones as well. people die more horrific deaths than your brother suffered and their families seem to find peace in the thought that the victims are in a better place.

    Reply
  7. David L Lucas

    I sure would like ti know when you are going to open because I sure would like to be there

    Reply
  8. Shere

    What is your planned opening date? So excited to visit your casino!!! I remember as a child going on a school field trip to the Alabama-Coushatta and watching the tribal dance, they were awesome!!!

    Reply
  9. Faye

    People are asking about the opening date but I haven’t seen any response. Is there an approximate date?

    Reply
  10. Alfred J. Davis

    Searching the internet and came upon your establishment and am anxious to know how far you all are located from Houston, the address there and whether you all have rooms for overnight stay. I am so happy that you all are close to Houston and looking forward to a visit.

    Reply
  11. Richard Guillory

    Very glad the casino is back open I don’t know but I’m sure the Indians could use a little economic boost. They deserve more but I hope each member of the tribe gets some money to help with their personal endeavors.Hey bernita lol

    Reply
  12. Faye

    I was so angry with Cornyn when he managed to shut down your casino that I swore to never support him politically again and glad to say I have not. We really enjoyed visiting your casino and plan to again. I have seen first hand the economic growth the first time and feel sure it will happen again. Congratulations!!!!

    Reply
  13. Lisa Millar

    Heard they were expanding. Does anyone know if they have? It is suppose to be the first part of Aug. 2017.

    Reply

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