Business Deals
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe enters casino debate

The Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe has been approached to become part of a gaming project in western Massachusetts.

Northeast Realty Associates already has a deal with the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut to develop a casino resort in Palmer. But the firm is also talking to the Aquinnah, though the tribe has not committed to the project.

The tribe already has a reservation on the island of Martha's Vineyard but the tribe has said it will not develop there. The reservation is also subject to state laws, making development difficult.

The tribe has said it is interested in gaming but would need to acquire land elsewhere in the state. Presumably, the tribe would have to go through the two-part detemination process, which requires the governor's approval, of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Meanwhile, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe says it's not worried about casino proposals popping up across the state. The tribe hopes to speed up development of a $1 billion casino in the town of Middleboro, although it still needs its land placed in trust and needs to negotiate a Class III compact.

Get the Story:
New tribe in casino mix: Resort developer eyes Palmer site (The Boston Herald 8/3)
Tribe wants to speed up casino construction (The Brockton Enterprise 8/3)
In quiet Palmer, casino idea raises a bubble of conversation (The Boston Globe 8/3)
Casino mogul meets with Mass. House speaker (The MetroWest Daily New 8/3)