Judge allows parties in Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe casino case

A screenshot of the Aquinnah Gaming website.

A federal judge allowed two more parties to join a gaming dispute between the state of Massachusetts and the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe.

The state sued the tribe for proposing a Class II gaming facility on its reservation. Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV said the town of Aquinnah and the Aquinnah/Gay Head Community Association can join the case in order to protect their interests.

The town and the association were parties to an agreement that led to the Massachusetts Indian Land Claims Settlement Act of 1987. The state claims the law subjects the tribe to state and local laws.

In 2004, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the law subjects the tribe to state jurisdiction. But since the gaming case is in federal court, the outcome could be different.

The tribe argues that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act confirms its rights to determine what to do with its land. IGRA became law in 1988, a year after the land claim settlement.

Get the Story:
Judge: More parties can join Aquinnah casino suit (The Cape Cod Times 8/7)
Judge: town & local group can join casino lawsuit (AP 8/6)
Town, community group win right to join state suit against tribe casino (The Martha's Vineyard Times 8/6)

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Hearing scheduled in Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe gaming case (07/16)

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