Issue 99
July 29 - August 4, 2002
Volume 3
page 1
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This Issue

Gaming News
Texas Tribal Casino Shuts Down

Feather Falls Casino Building More Than Excitement

Mississippi Marks Ten Years of Dockside Gambling

Galaxy to Open Temporary Casino in Macau

Connecticut Casinos Tax All Big Winners

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Texas Tribal Casino Shuts Down

ALABAMA-COUSHATTA RESERVATION, TX - /AP/ - The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe decided July 25 to follow a federal judge's order and closed its casino at midnight.

U.S. District Judge John Hannah Jr. ordered the casino closed last month, saying the casino violates the Native American Restoration Act of 1987.

The law offered the tribe federal recognition in exchange for an agreement to not engage in activities that would be otherwise illegal in their home state. Gambling is illegal in Texas.

"We have come together in a time of disappointment for our people," tribal chairman Kevin Battise said at a news conference, surrounded by supporters holding signs including "Sovereignty not Poverty" and "We Will Fight and Win."

The tribe on July 22 asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to stay Hannah's ruling while it goes through the appeals process.

The appeals panel denied the stay and the tribe has decided to lobby lawmakers to change legislation so that it may reopen rather than pursue further appeals.

The Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino, which employs nearly 300 people, including 70 tribe members about 90 miles northeast of Houston, will pay employees and extend their health benefits for three months.

"It's also a disappointment for all the employees here," said Carla Edwards, who has worked at the casino since October. "It's just not fair. We are good, hardworking people that don't deserve to be on welfare."

Casino employee Terri Roper disables a slot machine at the casino today at the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation. The tribe complied with a court order and shut down at the stroke of midnight July 25.

Leaders said the casino earned the tribe at least $1 million a month.

Many directed their anger from July 25 at Texas Attorney General John Cornyn, who has sought to close both the Alabama-Coushatta and the Tiguas' casino in El Paso. The Tiguas' casino closed in February.

Cornyn's office has maintained that state law prohibits casino gambling. Cornyn spokeswoman Jane Dees Sheppard declined to comment on Thursday.

The Alabama-Coushatta and the Tiguas argue that the state's loosely written lottery statute sanctions their casinos.

Feather Falls Casino Building More Than Excitement

OROVILLE, CA - /BUSINESS WIRE/ - Feather Falls Casino, located in Oroville, California, is nearing completion of its new 65,000 square feet facility, scheduled to open in Fall, 2002. Adding to its already successful casino, restaurant, and 750-seat showroom stage, Feather Falls Casino will soon offer an extensive buffet, expanded gaming floor and top entertainment billing to local customers and traveling visitors alike.

"The Casino and this expansion means so much to our community," said Mooretown Rancheria Tribal elder and council member, Ben Clark. "Focusing on economic development, such as this expansion, helps the entire community and future generations."

Challenging well-known casinos such as Cache Creek and Jackson Rancheria, Feather Falls Casino is positioning itself as one of the leaders in the California gaming arena.

"It's going to be like nothing anyone has seen in Northern California before," said Randy Carter, General Manager of Feather Falls Casino. "Very few know of the extent of the decor and what we will have to offer. It is amazing that we've been able to keep the secret successfully -- but we have."

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