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Legislation | Litigation
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe faces opposition in gaming case


The Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe is facing opposition in its bid to join a lawsuit that challenges H.3702, the Massachusetts gaming law.

The state and K.G. Urban Enterprises, a non-Indian developer, will likely oppose the tribe's motion to intervene, The Boston Globe reported. Both parties have until September 19 to submit their response.

"We need to be sure our rights are protected," Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, who attended a hearing in the case yesterday, told The New Bedford Standard-Times. "We're the only ones looking out for or interests."

The law reserves a casino in southeastern Massachusetts for "a federally recognized tribe." The state locked the Aquinnah out of the process and instead chose to negotiate only with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

As part of the lawsuit, KG says the Mashpees likely won't be able to open a casino due to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. The ruling restricts the land-into-trust process to tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" as of 1934.

The Mashpees didn't gain federal recognition until May 2007 and have yet to acquire land in trust. The Aquinnah gained recognition through an act of Congress in 1987 and has a reservation that's held in trust.

Get the Story:
Aquinnah tribe seeks role in suit (The Boston Globe 9/11)
KG Urban at odds with state over Expanded Gaming Act (The New Bedford Standard-Times 9/11)

Related Stories:
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe seeks to intervene in gaming suit (9/10)