Kickapoo Tribe Fears Threat to Lucky Eagle Casino from Proposed Gambling Expansion
The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas is expressing concern about proposed gambling and sports betting expansions in Texas that could threaten the tribe's Lucky Eagle Casino.
While Texas currently offers limited forms of gambling, including retail gambling, it does not offer sports betting. The Kickapoo have been operating their casino for nearly three decades and have been the only tribe in the state to withstand anti-gambling sentiment and continue offering its services.
The tribe initially offered a small temporary land-based casino that has since grown into a six-story venue with 3,000 electronic gaming machines, a bingo hall with 200 seats, a dozen poker tables, and a hotel with over 200 rooms. However, the Kickapoo fear that their revenue may suffer if Texas lawmakers approve proposals for Las Vegas-style casino gambling and sports betting.
Several proposals for gambling expansion are currently being considered, including the development of "destination resorts" at eight locations throughout the state. The Kickapoo Tribe views these proposals as particularly concerning because they would introduce casino-style games like roulette, craps, and blackjack that would compete with their existing offerings.
It is extremely concerning that the out-of-state interests behind the casino and sports wagering bills have excluded the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas from their legislation.
While the statewide expansion of gambling in Texas may take a long time to achieve due to the need to amend the state's Constitution, the Kickapoo Tribe is nevertheless worried about the potential threat to their livelihoods.
Given that the Lucky Eagle Casino has been a significant source of revenue and jobs for the tribe, any significant loss of revenue could have disastrous consequences.