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Judge Harry Hudspeth Issues Order for Tigua Tribe Slot Machines Shut Down

A federal judge has decided that El Paso's Tigua Indian tribe is operating illegal gaming machines at a once-lucrative gaming facility. US District Court Judge Harry Hudspeth ordered on August 3rd, 2009 that the Tigua tribe, which occupies a reservation in east El Paso, Texas, must shut down their slot machines that give gift cards as prizes or face a fine of $500 per day.

In a 9-page decision, Hudspeth sided with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's argument that the machines, defined as electronic and sweepstakes games, were skirting a 2001 court decision that closed down the Yselta Del Sur Pueblo's Speaking Rock casino. Judge Hudspeth decided that the slot-type games would be allowed if they offered prized worth less than ten times the cost of the game or $5.

But the machine give out Visa debit cards as prizes, meaning that they are really giving out money and are illegal. Karl Maahs, the casino's general manager said that the Tigua's Tribal Council and the casino's officials were studying the decision with their lawyers. Tigua tribe officials have been involved in a legal battle with the state of Texas since then-Attorney General John Cornyn successfully fought in a federal court to shutter the casino in 2001, stating that the Indian tribe was not permitted to offer gaming.


Sunday, 23 August 2009
Darren G. Strachan