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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe asserts exclusive rights for casino

Filed Under: Casino Stalker | Compacts
More on: bia, carcieri, land-into-trust, massachusetts, revenue sharing, supreme court, wampanoag
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is asserting exclusive rights to a casino in southeastern Massachusetts amid threats of competition.

H.3702, the state's gaming law, authorizes three casinos in different regions. Region C is supposed to be reserved for "a federally recognized tribe."

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, however, is worried that the tribe's proposal faces too many hurdles. The region could be opened up to other bidders.

“We don’t want to wake up in six months or a year or 18 months, if it turns out the tribe isn’t going to be successful, and then have to start the process from the very beginning,” Stephen Crosby, the chairman of the commission, said at a public meeting yesterday, WBUR reported.

The main hurdle is 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 Mashpee didn't gain federal recognition until May 2007. But Chairman Cedric Cromwell cited "great progress on all fronts towards having the secretary of the Interior take land into federal trust for our tribe" in a letter sent to the commission, The Cape Cod Times reported.

Another hurdle is a new Class III gaming compact. The Bureau of Indian Affairs rejected the first agreement because revenue sharing provisions were too high.

Get the Story:
Mashpee tribe could lose casino bid (The Cape Cod Times 12/5)
Gaming Commission may seek commercial casino bids in SE Mass. (The Taunton Daily Gazette 12/5)
Casino panel may open bidding in Southeast Mass. (The Boston Globe 12/5)
Native American gaming resort in jeopardy (The Boston Herald 12/5)
State Considers Opening Southeastern Mass. To Commercial Casino Bidding (WBUR 12/5)

Related Stories:
Mashpee Wampanoag chair says fix not needed for casino site (11/29)

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