BIA clarifies timeline on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino bid

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

A decision on the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino bid in Massachusetts isn't as imminent as reported.

An August 21 letter from the Bureau of Indian Affairs hinted of a decision on the tribe's land-into-trust application within 30 days. But a second letter, sent on August 26, clarifies that the agency is only seeking comments in the next 30 days.

"The trust application is still under review and there is no date set when a decision on that will be issued," a BIA spokesperson told The Cape Cod Times in an e-mail.

The tribe plans to build the $500 million First Light Resort and Casino on 171 acres in the city of Taunton. The BIA published the final environmental impact statement for the project nearly a year ago in September 2014.

The application also includes another 151 acres in the town of Mashpee for governmental and other purposes.

Get the Story:
Feds reverses itself on timing of trust decision on Mashpee tribe (The Cape Cod Times 8/29)
Tribe awaits decision more than three years after Taunton casino vote (State House News Service 8/26)

An Opinion:
Editorial: Decision on tribal casino will add certainty to market (The Falmouth Enterprise 8/31)

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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