Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe hails gaming compact approval


Artist's rendering of proposed First Light Resort and Casino. Image from Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe welcomed official approval of its Class III gaming compact with the state of Massachusetts.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs published notice of the compact in the Federal Register yesterday. That means the agreement has gone into effect.

"It's now official. Today is a day of great significance for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe," Chairman Cedric Cromwell said on Monday. “The tribal state compact was officially placed in the Federal Register today and will now take effect as federal law."

The agreement requires the tribe to share 21 percent of Class III revenues with the state. The rate drops to 17 percent once another casino opens elsewhere in the state -- two non-Indian casinos are authorized by H.3702, the Massachusetts Expanded Gaming Act.

The rate will go to 15 percent if a non-Indian slot machine parlor opens in the tribe's region. And it will drop to 0 percent if a full-fledged casino opens in Region C.

"If the tribal state compact is breached in region C by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarding a commercial license to another destination resort casino, the tribe will pay zero revenue to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," Cromwell noted.

The tribe still needs approval of its land-into-trust application for the $500 million First Light Resort and Casino.

Get the Story:
Gambling pact with tribe now in play (The Boston Herald 2/4)
Gambling compact between state, Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to take effect as federal law (The Taunton Daily Gazette 2/4)
Mashpee-Massachusetts gaming compact gets federal blessing (Cape Cod Today 2/4)

Federal Register Notice:
Indian Gaming (February 3, 2014)

Related Stories:
Non-Indian billionaire complains about Wampanoag compact (2/3)

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