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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe faces new deadline for casino plan

Filed Under: Casino Stalker | Compacts
More on: bia, carcieri, exclusivity, land-into-trust, massachusetts, revenue sharing, supreme court, wampanaog
   
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts has three months to make progress on its casino plan.

The tribe negotiated a Class III gaming compact last year but the Bureau of Indian Affairs rejected it due to an extremely high revenue sharing rate that promised little in terms of exclusivity. A new deal is likely to face opposition in the state after the revenue rates are changed.

The tribe's land-into-trust application remains pending at the BIA as well. Legal challenges are likely due to the 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" in 1934. The Mashpees didn't gain federal recognition until May 2007.

The process will likely take years -- in Michigan, for example, newly recognized tribes had to fight opponents for 10 years before finally opening their casinos. That will put more pressure on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission as its considers whether to leave the Mashpees behind and allow non-Indian bidders for a casino in southeastern Massachusetts.

The commission will wait until March 15 to determine its next move.

Get the Story:
Looking ahead to '13: Casino deadline pressures tribe (The Cape Cod Times 1/1)
Casino developer critical of gaming commission Wampanoag decision (The Cape Cod Times 1/2)
Massachusetts Casinos Make Progress In 2012 (WBUR 12/31)

Related Stories:
Column: Massachusetts gaming moves at a painfully slow pace (12/20)
Editorial: Tribal casino in Massachusetts plan faces uncertainty (12/20)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe given 'last shot' to pursue casino (12/19)

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