May 9, 2023 3 min read


Kickapoo Tribe in Texas Fears Statewide Gambling Expansion

Amid proposals calling for the expansion of gambling and sports betting in Texas, the Kickapoo Tribe fears bankruptcy

Texas is currently one of the few states that offers limited forms of gambling. There’s no sports betting available while retail gambling is limited. The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas has been operating the Lucky Eagle Casino for nearly three decades since it opened its doors back in 1996. Two other Tribes have also opened gaming facilities but for years faced legal battles making the Kickapoo the only Tribe to withstand anti-gambling calls and still offer its services.

Now, in light of proposals that are seeking to expand the options for gambling and introduce sports betting for Texas customers, the Tribe fears that its revenues may plummet, a report released by the Houston Chronicle reveals. Given the legal battles the other two Tribes faced, the Kickapoo were able to run their venue for decades which delivered significant proceeds and helped provide jobs.

Initially, the Tribe offered a small temporary facility which over the years has grown into a six-story venue offering 3,000 electronic gaming machines, as well as a bingo hall with 200 seats. Moreover, the Lucky Eagle Casino offers a dozen poker tables as well as a hotel with more than 200 rooms. Despite those amenities, the Tribe fears that its revenue may suffer from irreparable damage if Texas lawmakers greenlight proposals calling for Las Vegas-style casino gambling and sports betting.

Statewide Gambling Expansion Efforts Continue

Juan Garza, the Kickapoo Tribe’s chairman, acknowledged that the position of the Tribe “has been consistent and crystal clear to the Legislature for at least the last 20 years.” Additionally, he claimed that the supporters of the gambling and sports wagering expansion in Texas are “ignoring” the Tribe and its needs. Garza stressed that it is concerning to see the Tribe excluded from the gambling expansion proposals that are gaining traction in Texas.

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.

Juan Garza, chairman of the Kickapoo Tribe

There are currently different proposals for the expansion of gambling in Texas. One such proposal calls for the development of “destination resorts” at eight different locations around the state. The Kickapoo Tribe sees this proposal as threatening considering that its gaming location would need to compete with casino-style gambling games such as roulette, craps and blackjack.

Still, a statewide expansion of gambling in Texas may take a long time to achieve. This is because lawmakers need to amend the state’s Constitution in order to introduce casino-style gambling and sports wagering. Such a change would also require two-thirds support from both the Senate and the House, as well as approval of Texas’ voters via a ballot.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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