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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe faces big hurdle in casino quest

Filed Under: Casino Stalker
More on: bia, carcieri, eis, land-into-trust, massachusetts, supreme court, wampanoag

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

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe faces one last hurdle in its quest for a casino in southeastern Massachusetts.

The tribe's land-into-trust application must still be approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The agency is entering the final stages of review for the $500 million First Light Resort and Casino but it could be months before a final environmental impact statement is released.

The major issue 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 Wampanoags didn't gain federal recognition until May 2007. So the BIA will have to determine whether the tribe can overcome the Carcieri hurdle before approving the land-into-trust application.

Get the Story:
Report for casino nearly finished (The Cape Cod Times 2/12)
Tribe: 'Final phase of the environmental review process is now underway' (The Taunton Daily Gazette 2/12)

Federal Register Notices:
Indian Gaming (February 3, 2014)
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:
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe enters final stage of casino plan (2/11)

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