Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe questions non-Indian slot facility

The Plainridge Park Casino, a non-Indian slot machine facility, will open on June 24. Photo from Facebook

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is questioning the legality of a non-Indian slot machine facility that's due to open next month.

H.3702, the Massachusetts Expanded Gaming Act, authorized three gaming facilities and a slot machine parlor. The law states that the slot facility can offer up to 1,250 devices.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, however, issued rules that allow the Plainridge Park Casino to offer up to 1,500 machines. And the facility is allowed to install electronic table games.

“The tribe hereby respectfully requests that the Attorney General’s Office investigate this matter and advise the commission to rescind or amend its regulations," a letter to Attorney General Maura Healey stated, WWLP reported.

An artist's rendering of proposed First Light Resort and Casino in Taunton, Massachusetts. Image from Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

The tribe plans to open the First Light Resort and Casino in the city of Taunton. The Plainridge facility is less than 20 miles away.

The Class III gaming compact requires the tribe to share 21 percent of revenues with the state. The rate, however, will be lowered by two percentage points because of the non-Indian facility.

Once another casino opens in the state, the tribe will share 15 percent. In the event another casino opens in the same region as Taunton, the rate drops to 0 percent.

Get the Story:
Tribe asks AG to investigate slot parlor regulations (WWLP 5/14)
Mashpee Wampanoag tribe challenges Plainridge slots plan (The Fall River Herald News 5/15)
Tribe asks AG to investigate slot parlor regs (State House News Service 5/15)
Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe raises objection to gambling machines at state's first casino (The Boston Globe 5/15)

DOI Solicitor Opinion:
M-37029: The Meaning of "Under Federal Jurisdiction" for Purposes of the Indian Reorganization Act (March 12, 2014)

Federal Register Notice:
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Fee-to-Trust Transfer of Property and Subsequent Development of a Resort/Hotel and Ancillary Facilities in the City of Taunton, MA and Tribal Government Facilities in the Town of Mashpee, MA by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (September 5, 2014)

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