Casino Stalker
Legal opinion challenges Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe casino

The Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts can't build a casino on its reservation in Martha's Vineyard, according to a legal opinion requested by the local town government.

The tribe's land claim settlement act subjects the reservation to state jurisdiction, the opinion notes. The town of Gay Head, or Aquinnah, does not allow gaming so a casino would be out of the question.

The jurisdiction issue has been tested at least once. The Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2004 ruled that the tribe is subject to local zoning laws.

The Massachusetts Indian Land Claims Settlement Act also contains a provision that states that any land the tribe acquires in trust is subject to state jurisdiction. The restriction, however, appears to apply only to property in the town of Aquinnah and not anywhere else in the state.

The tribe wants to build a casino on 500 acres in the towns of Freetown and Lakeville.

Get the Story:
Of Indian casino in Aquinnah, town counsel says simply 'No' (The Martha's Vineyard Times 5/3)
Tribe to hold public forums (The Middleboro Gazette 5/3)

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Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe to host public forums for casino (5/1)