Gambling Case

Texas Tribe’s To Present Its Gambling Case To Supreme Court

Andy Brown
Published: Jan 21, 2022 Updated: Feb 4, 2022

Last year’s October, the news came out involving the Supreme Court case between the state of Texas and Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. Given the amicus curiae briefs submitted by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, the Solicitor General’s office, and the National Indian Gaming Association, along with a response from the Texas state, the case is postponed to conduct oral arguments scheduled on Feb 22, 2022. 

There had been a long path for the case to oral arguments. Initially, the petition for certiorari was filed in the Supreme Court in October 2020. Although this case has no potential to open the gates of Texas to further casino or gambling expansion directly, the issue’s resolution can become a small step to begin a conversation about it. 

Texas’s Current State of Gambling 

As per the reports of May 2021, the talk goes around that Texas is getting ready to change its course of long-held opposition to gambling. Latest efforts to enable sports betting spilled out, and discussion related to possible casino expansion also diminished. However, for this one of the last significant US population centers, the conversation about gambling expansion is a major change. 

Even after past failures, Dan Huberty, Texas Rep, said to the National Council of Legislators from the Gaming States, “I believe there is a real chance for sports betting to enter the state of Texas by 2023. But before that, the dispute over the State’s Restoration Act must get resolved by the Supreme Court.” The case is an outcome of the Act’s anti-gambling clause. 

Response By The State of Texas

It’s not much of a surprise that the State of Texas responded effectively while arguing the opposite of the amici and the petitioners. First, the argument put forward by Texas was based on the correct interpretation of the Restoration Act by the Fifth Circuit. The state contends that the drafting of the Restoration Act was not amended by Congress as an outcome of the Ninth Circuit’s final decision in the Cabazon Band case.  

The argument is engaging as both sides argue differently. However, the petitioners quote the legislative materials. They argue that it indicates the Cabazon Band being contemplated. Texas puts an argument that effectively says that the lower courts judged or ruled correctly. It says that the state gains authority with the Restoration Act and can decide what gaming happens on the tribal land. 

What To Conclude?

It can be concluded that it would be a great step forward for Texas in terms of tribal gaming if the Tribes win. It would allow the Tribes to introduce any gambling option that is not prohibited outright by the state. Currently, there are few chances of that. However, the start of gambling expansion seems to be turning. Although the immediate decision would seem small for the Tribes, they will get a seat at the table if the state witnesses the arrival of any form of gambling. 

Andy is a skilled recreational gambler for more than 11 years. His primary focus is on the regulated US online casino and poker markets. Editor-In-Chief at
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