New Waverly has joined other East Texas communities in support of the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Texas.
The New Waverly City Council approved a resolution supporting the tribe at their regular meeting Tuesday night. The resolution is in support of H.R. 759, authored by US Representative Bryan Babin (R-Texas-36), which calls for the rights of the tribe to have gaming.
“This resolution is just about fairness. The Kickapoo tribe of Eagle Pass has had gaming for the last twenty years, but the state of Texas wants to take this right away from the Alabama-Coushatta tribe and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo tribe of El Paso,” Alabama-Coushatta representative Tony Avett said. “The Tribe and Naskilla Gaming provide over 500 jobs to the community and brings in over $150 million to East Texas.”
HR 759 was passed through the U.S. House of Representatives in July and is currently waiting on passage by the Senate in the next legislative session. According to Avett, Naskilla Gaming attracts over a million visitors per year, who would have otherwise gone to neighboring states to gamble. The tribe also plans to start a shuttle from Lufkin, College Station, Navasota and Huntsville.
The tribe has asked local communities, including New Waverly and Huntsville to support the resolution as a grassroots movement to show Washington D.C. that East Texas is in favor of gaming.
“This is really a no-brainer for us to pass,” New Waverly Mayor Nathaniel James said. “We may not have concrete numbers of the impact it has on New Waverly, but from gas to food, we clearly are benefiting. Additionally, the regional impact to the East Texas community is a great benefit.”
The next meeting of the New Waverly City Council is set for 6 p.m. on Feb. 10 at New Waverly City Hall.