Houston Casino Rentals Are a Big Hit

Houston, Texas is the 4th largest city in the US behind New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Needless to say, there is a lot going on in and around the City of Houston. All of the professional sports are represented, night life, cultures, NASA, and the list goes on and on…except for casino gambling. As a matter of fact, Texas is one of the few states left in the union where casino gambling is still illegal, even on Native American lands.

It’s no wonder that the neighboring states of Louisiana and Oklahoma have a number of world-class casinos planted firmly along the borders. If you ever go to one of these establishments, make note of the license plates in the parking lot. Virtually every car in the lot is from Texas. There is just no telling how much revenue the state of Texas is losing from gaming dollars going outside of the state. The issue comes up time and again in the state legislature, but is always shot down by a strong Baptist presence within the governing body. Maybe some day they will learn from history and discover that you can’t legislate morality. Just take a look at what happened with Prohibition!

But being the Texans that we are, we are not going to let this get in the way of our fun. Houston casino rental companies are all the rage for providing the excitement and entertainment that a live casino has to offer, all within the law. Top of the line Houston casino rentals use state-of-the-art equipment and professionally trained dealers to provide Houstonians with the games and action that can otherwise only be obtained by traveling out of the state. When you hire a reputable casino rental company, you decide what you will be playing for. Is it a prize that goes out to the winner of the night? It could be gift certificates that go out to the Top-10 chip earners. As long as you are not paying out cash for chips at the end of the night, then you should be good-to-go.

We recently held a corporate casino party where they held little mini-tournaments throughout the night. Regardless of the game people were playing (i.e. Crap, Roulette, Black Jack, Poker, etc.), whoever earned the most chips in the next 15 minutes won a $100 gift certificate. It’s the dealer’s job to keep tabs of the action, but you can imagine the excitement and the HUGE BETS that were being placed!

Another example was a 30th birthday party that a loving wife surprised her husband with. They had about 35 guest in attendance in their home and the gaming tables were cranking. If someone ran out of chips, they had to take A SHOT to buy back into the game! It goes without saying that there were some pretty ‘happy’ people there before the night was over. At the end of the evening, the dealers counted up the chip and present a raffle ticket for each 100 chips redeemed so they could hold a drawing for door prizes.

Another common use of Houston casino rentals is for non-profit fund-raising events. The donors purchase chips to play at the casino tables and all of the money goes to a worthy cause. This is one of the most preferred themes currently for fund-raising because the donor is getting a level of entertainment proportionate to their donation, and the check books keep coming out for more as the night progresses!

That 2-hour drive to Lake Charles (if the traffic is good and you break a few speed limits along the way) might be good on occasion, but it’s always nicer when you know that you can bring the game to your front door whenever you want to. These are just a few of the reasons that Houston casino rentals are trending and will continue to trend as long as Texans are forced to take their money over the border. Hey Texas Legislature…Can anyone say ASTRODOME CASINO?

Facts About Gambling in Oklahoma

In 1987, the Supreme Court ruled in California vs. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians that tribal governments had the rights to establish gaming operations independent of state regulation. The very next year, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which worked towards developing a manageable framework for Indian Gaming.

While authority over Class II gaming was left to the tribes, Class III gaming required a compact between the tribe and the state. In Oklahoma, the Indian tribes regulate both Class II and Class III, although they are still subject to the provisions set out in the IGRA.

So what’s the difference between Class II and Class III? Class II games are generally defined as bingo, lotto, pull tab, and punch board games. Class III includes electronic bingo games, non-house banked card games, and electronic amusement games.

This legal decision was very important and had an immediate impact on the Indian tribes throughout the Unites States. One of the states where it made the biggest impact was in Oklahoma. From Bristow to Stringtown, Lone Grove to Seminole, tribal leaders began developing strategies to make use of this ruling for the betterment of their people.

Under this federal law, gambling can only be conducted on “Indian Land.” According to federal law, “Indian Land” is defined as:

a. Land which is a part of a federally-recognized Indian reservation, or

b. Not located on a reservation, but held in trust by the federal government for an Indian tribe.

In Oklahoma, these gaming compacts are in effect until their date on January 1st, 2020. If, however, the tribes and state both agreed to do so, the compact could be terminated at any time before then.

As for the proceeds collected from these gambling operations, the IGRA requires the net revenues to be used for the following purposes:

a. To help fund operations of local government agencies.

b. To donate to charitable organizations.

c. To promote economic development within the tribe.

d. To provide for the welfare of the Indian tribe and its members.

e. To fund tribal government operations.

The tribe can also distribute net revenue to members of the tribe in the form of a per capita payment. To do so, the tribe must have a RAP (Revenue Allocation Plan), which must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

According to the Federal Register, the following 32 tribes have entered into gaming compacts with the State of Oklahoma: Absentee Shawnee Tribe, Apache Tribe, Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation, Comanche Nation, Delaware Nation, Eastern Shawnee Tribe, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Kaw Nation of Oklahoma, Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Miami Nation, Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Osage Nation, Otoe-Missouria Tribe, Ottawa Tribe, Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma, Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, Sac & Fox Nation, Seminole Nation, Seneca-Cayuga Tribes of Oklahoma, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Tonkawa Tribe, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, and the Wyandotte Nation.

Native American Gambling

Gambling games are looked upon very differently from one culture to the next. In Protestant and Catholic cultures, gambling is seen as a sinful vice, associated with other illicit activities.

In Native American cultures, however, gambling is an ancient tradition associated with noble virtues such as intelligence, concentration, acuity, strategic thinking, leadership, resource management, discipline, spiritual development, and good sportsmanship.

It is then no wonder that a nation indigenous to the coast of northern California had a village in one part of their territory that was devoted to the art and science of traditional gambling games much like a college or seminary for gamblers. While not every NDN (sic) Nation set up such institutions, most had some sort of tradition for wagering bets on games of skill and games of chance.

Gambling is still a part of Native American traditional life. Celebrations and even sacred rituals such as healing ceremonies will often include gambling, after the prayers are done and the feast is shared.

Since tribally owned casinos provide massive economic stimuli for impoverished Native populations, challenging the rights of tribes to own and run their own casinos is also a way of keeping Native people in devastating poverty. An example of the difference between owning a casino and not owning one can be seen when comparing two bands of the same tribe. One band in Oklahoma, has no casino within their jurisdiction. The other band of the same tribe, in Kansas, has their own casino. Laws differ from state to state.

The band in Kansas used the revenues from the casino to build schools, buy a regulation school bus, and most importantly, to build a desperately needed health clinic. The Oklahoma band of the same tribe has none of these facilities because they lack the casino generated revenue necessary to build and maintain them, let alone staff them. Casino revenues also provide the capital loans for tribal members to start small businesses.

A series of court cases and legislative acts in the 1980′s set a precedent for Native gaming rights and regulation. These historic landmarks include: Seminole Tribe vs. Butterworth (1979), California vs. Cabazon Band (1987), and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988. However, these gains have been repeatedly challenged by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), in an ongoing campaign to weaken Native sovereignty and to confiscate or divert Native gaming revenues.

As on-line gambling websites redefine the concept of territory in cyberspace, Native American gaming rights and issues of sovereignty, freedom, and self determination are once again at “stake” (pun intended). Will you wager a bet on the future of Native American gambling, as it evolves with modern technology, and a global economy?

Wildlife and Nature Attractions in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is a state filled with natural wonders and attractions. In fact, it has the most diverse terrain in the United States on a mile-per-mile basis, according to the EPA.

The state has four main mountain ranges (Ouachitas, Arbuckles, Wichitas, and the Kiamichis). It also has over 200 man-made lakes, giving it more than any other state. The largest lake in the state is Lake Eufaula, which covers 102,000 surface acres of water.

The EPA also recognizes Oklahoma as having 11 distinct ecoregions. These include: Western High Plains, Cypress Swamps and Forests, Ouachita Mountains, Hardwood Forest, Ozark Forest, Ozark Highlands, Caves and Prairie, Cross Timbers, Tall Grass Prairie, Central Great Plains, and Southwestern Tablelands.

The state is also filled with various natural museums and conservation centers which are open to the public. Below, I have attempted to detail of few of these sites. Be sure and check them out if you find yourself in Oklahoma.

Tonkawa, Oklahoma – Located in Kay County along the Salt Fork Arkansas River, Tonkawa is home to the North Oklahoma Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

This facility is located on the campus of Northern Oklahoma College (1220 East Grand Street). It is open daily to the public and there is no price for admission. The gardens were established in 1901 and include an arboretum, butterfly display, herb, perennial, rose, and sensory gardens. There is also a greenhouse, and 4,000 to 6,000 bedding plants are added each spring. The annual Redbud Festival also sees the mass planting of over 150 redbuds each year.

Lawton, Oklahoma – Located in Comanche County, Lawton is a city of 92,757 people. It is home to large granite deposits and cotton fields. It is also home to The Percussive Arts Society Museum, Museum of the Great Plains, Medicine Park Village, Mount Scott, and Fort Sill (which includes Geronimo’s gravesite).
Lawton is also home to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Herds of buffalo, elk, longhorn, and deer are visible as they roam the open plains.

Jenks, Oklahoma – A suburb of Tulsa, Jenks is home to over 13,000 residents. One of the most popular tourist sites is the Oklahoma Aquarium, which is the state’s only freestanding aquarium.

It is located on the banks for the Arkansas River. The 72,000 square foot facility was built in 2002 and brings 500,000 annually to the Tulsa area. Exotic marine life are on display, as well as fish and freshwater animals native to Oklahoma. A huge shark tank is the most popular exhibit, and the facility also has the largest collection of fishing tackles in the world.

Grove, Oklahoma – Grove is home to the Lendonwood Gardens, a botanical garden which is free to the public. Founded in 1995, the gardens feature a blend of American and Japanese gardening techniques.

There are over 500 varieties of daylilies, 25 types of dogwood, over 50 bonsai, 75 kinds of Garden Maples, 70 varieties of hostas, as well as a koi pond and much, much more.

In addition to the natural beauty of Oklahoma, the above towns and cites each have Indian casinos and bingo halls within close proximity. After enjoying the beauty of God’s creation, why not stop in and risk a little of your hard-earned money?

Gambling Laws In Oklahoma

Throughout the state of Oklahoma, you’ll find many casinos and bingo halls run by various Indian tribes. While these operations fully comply with the law of the land, you might be surprised to know that there are also a whole host of illegal operators out there who attempt to skirt around the law. For this reason, the state of Oklahoma has a wide array of laws and statutes on the books.

Some of these affect the casual player, while most are in place to help protect the public from con artists and other illegal operations. If you’re thinking of visiting Oklahoma on a gambling trip (to somewhere like, say, Hominy, Chickasha, El Reno, or Pocola) then you might find it interesting to read up on a few of these laws.

Statute 21-944 – Slot Machines – Misdemeanor – Any person who sets up or operates a slot machine in his or her place of business will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, they shall face a fine of not less than $25 and not more that $100, or a term of imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 30 days (or both a fine and imprisonment).

Statute 21-945 – Buildings – Use for Gambling – Felony – It is illegal for the owner of any building or piece of real estate to knowingly permit gambling to take place on the premises. Doing so will lead to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1000. Every day that illegal operations go on counts as a separate offense, so what seems to be a fairly mild penalty can quickly add up. If the offender cannot pay the fine, the offending property will be seized.

Statute 21-946 – Illegal Use of Building – Nuisance – Felony – Any home or room where illegal gambling takes place is guilty of a felony. The owner of the house or room, along with anyone who helps operate it, will be considered guilty of a felony and fined no less than $500 and no more than $10,000. Another option is imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term not less than 1 year and not more than 10 years.

Statute 21-954 – Three Card Monte, Swindle or Confidence Games – Felony – Any person who deals, plays, or practices the swindle known as the three-card monte, and any other swindle or confidence game, shall be found guilt of a felony and punished by a fine of not less than $1000 and not more than $5000, or by confinement in the State Penitentiary for a term of not less than 1 year and not more than 5 years.

Statute 21-969 – Sale or Possession of Slot Machines or Punch Boards – Misdemeanor – It is unlawful for anyone to have in their possession any slot machine or punch board, or to sell or lease such items. The only exceptions are for slot machines older than 25 years or slot machines used for the purposes of teaching slot machine repair. Persons in violation will be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than $50 and not more than $150, or imprisoned in the county jail for not more than 60 days (or both).

Statute 21-971 – Operating Punch Boards – Misdemeanor – Any person who sets up or operates a punch board (unless covered by the Charity Gaming Act) will be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $100, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than 30 days (or both).

Statute 21-987 – Dissemination of Gambling Information – Felony – Gambling information is defined as transmitting or receiving information used in making or settling bets. This does not apply to licensed radio or television stations or newspapers who are reporting the odds of a legally staged sporting event. Any person found guilty of disseminating such information will be guilty of a felony and be punished by imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or a fine of not more than $25,000 (or both).