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Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe won't drop plan for Class II facility

Filed Under: Casino Stalker | Litigation
More on: class ii, jurisdiction, land claims, massachusetts, wampanoag
The Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts will move forward with plans for a Class II facility.

Tribal members tried to kill the project but a referendum failed at a meeting last week, The Martha's Vineyard Gazette reported. Chairman Tobias Vanderhoop said the project will proceed as planned.

“The outcome of the referendum did not change the previous two actions that had endorsed the proposal of a casino project here,” Vanderhoop, who took office last month, told the paper.

The tribe has won federal approval to operate a casino on its reservation on the island of Martha's Vineyard. But Gov. Deval Patrick (D) says the tribe gave up its gaming rights under the Massachusetts Indian Land Claims Settlement Act.

The law subjects the tribe to state laws, the Massachusetts Supreme Court said in 2004. But the issue apparently has never been tested in federal court, where the tribe wants a lawsuit filed by Patrick to be heard. Patrick's attorneys are trying to keep the case in state court.

Get the Story:
Under New Leadership, Tribe Presses Ahead With Casino Plans (The Martha's Vineyard Gazette 2/25)
Island Tribe to move ahead with Class II casino (Cape Cod Today 2/25)
Tribal referendum fails to defeat proposed Aquinnah casino (The Cape Cod Times 2/25)

Relevant Documents:
Solicitor Letter to Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe (August 23, 2013)
NIGC Letter to Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe (October 25, 2013)
Press Release: GSB Client Aquinnah Wampanoag to be First to Game in Massachusetts (November 12, 2013)

Related Stories:
State wants Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe casino case moved (02/11)

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