Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe clears first vote for gaming pact

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts cleared the first vote on its long-delayed on its Class III gaming compact.

The Legislature's Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies voted 8-1 in favor of the agreement. It can now be sent to the state House and state Senate for final votes.

“We thank the Committee members for supporting this revised compact, which brings us another step closer to breaking ground on Project First Light,” Chairman Cedric Cromwell said in a press release. “We believe this agreement will keep our world-class destination resort casino on track, ultimately provide thousands of jobs for southeastern Massachusetts and the economic stimulus that will result.”

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 if a non-Indian casino opens in the southeastern region. That's a plausible scenario since the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has agreed to accept non-Indian bids for the region.

If the compact is approved by the Legislature, it can be sent to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for review. The agency rejected the first agreement due to a high revenue-sharing rate that came without meaningful concessions.

Get the Story:
Mashpee Wampanoag Taunton casino takes a step forward (The Taunton Daily Gazette 9/11)
Committee approves tribe's casino compact (The Cape Cod Times 9/11)
Legislative committee approves casino compact between Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Gov. Deval Patrick (State House News Service 9/10)
Massachusetts panel approves tribal casino compact (AP (9/10)
Boston: Mashpee Wampanoags one step closer to building a casino (WATD 9/10)

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