Nation | Tribe: Tigua Indians of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo
122 South Old Pueblo Road
El Paso, TX 79907
Speaking Rock Entertainment Center opened in 2016. It is located in the building of the old Speaking Rock casino at the front of the Ysleta old Mission.
The Tigua Indians of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo opened the Speaking Rock Casino in 1993 under the guidelines of the federal government but without an agreement nor approval from the state. Texas fought the legality of the casino through the court system and in 2002 a court decision order the closure of Speaking Rock.
In 2015 it was determined in court and by the U.S. Interior Dept that Texas had violated the National Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 and Speaking Rock casino should be allowed to reopen with Class II gambling.
In 2018 the casino reopened as the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center.
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In March 2019 the Texas attorney general issued a permanent injunction to permanently end video slot machines and limit the sessions of live bingo games.
February 26, 2021
Texas and Texas tribes have fought over gambling rights for nearly 30 years. The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, also referred to as Tigua Indians, own and operate Speaking Rock Entertainment in El Paso, TX. In 2019 a U.S. District Judge ruled that Speaking Rock Entertainment was violating Texas gambling laws. That ruling was upheld in 2020 by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Tiguas appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This week the Supreme Court issued a brief order for the U.S. Justice Department to weigh in on the case. The order simply says: "The Acting Solicitor General is invited to file a brief in this case expressing the views of the United States."
The Solicitor General works in the Justice Department represents the federal government's position in cases before the Supreme Court. The court order did not include a deadline for a brief, and it will likely extend the case by several months. In the meantime Speaking Rock Entertainment can continue operations during the appeal.
March 29, 2019
The Texas Attorney General issued a permanent injunction yesterday against casino gaming at the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center.
Speaking Rock has been operating video slot machines that play against other players instead of the house. This is defined as Class II Indian gaming by the federal government. The AG's injunction permanently prohibits this type of gaming at Speaking Rock.
Traditional live bingo games are restricted to a maximum of 4-hour sessions, twice a day, three nights a week.
This injunction issued by Attorney General Ken Paxton is the latest in a 20-year battle between the state and Tigua Indians of the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo.
February 15, 2019
The future of Speaking Rock Casino is in jeopardy after losing a major court case against the State of Texas in the U.S. District Court of El Paso.
The State sued the Tigua Indian Tribein an attempt to shut down the Speaking Rock Casino. The State claimed the gaming violated state laws. U.S. District Judge Philip Martinez agreed will issue an injunction next month against further gaming at Speaking Rock.
The Kickapoo Tribe operates the Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, Texas under the Federal Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act. The Tiguas Tribe claims they operate the Speaking Rock Casino under the same authority.
Texas disagrees and says the Tigua are instead regulated by the 1987 Federal Restoration Act. Tribes under that law cannot operate tribal gaming unless those games are allowed by state law.
The court is cognizant that an injunction will have a substantial impact on the pueblo community. Accordingly, the court joins the refrain of judges who have urged the tribes bound by the Restoration Act to petition Congress to modify or replace the Restoration Act if they would like to conduct gaming on the reservation," Judge Martinez wrote.
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