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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe wins approval of casino compact

Filed Under: Casino Stalker | Compacts
More on: bia, igra, massachusetts, wampanoag

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

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

Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has 45 days to review compacts. Gov. Deval Patrick (D) announced approval of the deal today.

“This is another important step toward growing jobs and opportunity in the Southeast region, and a good deal for both the commonwealth and the tribe,” Patrick said in a statement, The Boston Globe reported.

The compact requires the tribe to share 21 percent of revenues with the state. The rate will drop to 17 percent once another casino opens elsewhere in the state and to 15 percent if a non-Indian slot machine parlor opens in southeastern Massachusetts.

The tribe won't have to share any revenues at all if a non-Indian casino opens in the southeastern region. That's a plausible scenario since the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has accepted one non-Indian bid for the region.

The tribe plans to build the $500 million First Light Resort and Casino in the city of Taunton. The BIA published a draft environmental impact statement for the project and held two public hearings last month.

A final decision in the casino could come sometime this year.

Get the Story:
Tribe gets federal green light to pursue casino (AP 1/3)
BIA approves compact that could lead to Mashpee Wampanoag casino in Taunton (The Boston Globe 1/3)
Deadline floats by on casino compact (The Cape Cod Times 1/3)
Feds examine Mashpee Wampanoag compact for Taunton casino (The Taunton Daily Gazette 1/3)
Federal decision on Mashpee Wampanoag compact expected Thursday (The Taunton Daily Gazette 1/1)

Federal Register Notice:
Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Fee-to-Trust Transfer of Property and Subsequent Development of a Resort/Hotel and Tribal Government Facilities by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (November 15, 2013)

Related Stories:
Leader of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe apologizes for casino flap (12/9)

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