Tiguas look to appeal after judge orders machines shut down at Speaking Rock

El Paso News
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The Ysleta del Sur tribe is hoping an appeal can save its gaming operations at Speaking Rock Entertainment Center after a federal judge handed the Tiguas a major legal defeat Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Philip Martinez issued a permanent injunction Thursday, barring the tribe from operating so-called cardmining gaming machines. The ruling also restricts gaming to live bingo three times per week for no more than four hours each session.

Earlier this month, Judge Martinez sided with the State of Texas, the plaintiff in the decades-long legal battle, deciding the Tiguas have been in violation of gambling laws at Speaking Rock, something the tribe has disputed. 

Thursday’s ruling was supposed to take effect in 90 days, but Judge Martinez later issued a stay in the case, allowing the tribe to continue its gaming operations as it awaits an appeal. 

The court is mindful that Speaking Rock is a primary employer for the tribe’s members and that Speaking Rock’s revenue supports significant education, governmental, and charitable initiatives, Martinez wrote.

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