Editorial: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe moves ahead with casino

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

With the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe moving ahead with its long-delayed First Light Resort and Casino, Massachusetts newspaper wonders about the state of gaming in New England:
With an Intergovernmental Agreement with the city of Taunton already in place for improving intersections and roads in the area of the proposed casino and funding to hire more police and buy new firefighting equipment, the city is moving ahead with public safety efforts to monitor what is soon expected to become sovereign territory.

It’s unclear if and when opponents of the tribal casino — including the entities proposing a commercial casino in nearby Brockton — will mount a counteroffensive. The Brockton casino developers testified before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission this month that the tribal casino could be snarled in legal action over its land-in-trust status for years to come, which would likely delay any initial investment in building the casino.

They questioned whether the tribe will be able to secure the financing necessary to build a resort casino in light of these issues. While the Brockton casino developers insist the two nearby casinos could co-exist if the Gaming Commission approves its commercial license, it is quickly becoming a very competitive gaming landscape.

Get the Story:
Time to reveal Taunton tribal casino wild cards

Also Today:
Tribe, Mashpee work on police coverage (The Cape Cod Times 11/18)

Relevant Documents:
Chairman Cedric Cromwell Announcement | Mashpee Wampanoag Trbe Press Release | Bureau of Indian Affairs Press Release | Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn Letter to Chairman Cedric Cromwell | Record of Decision | Attachment I - Legal Descriptions | Attachment II - Maps | Attachment III - Mitigation Monitoring and Enforcement Plan | Attachment IV - Response to Comments on the Final Environmental Impact Statement

Federal Register Notices:
Land Acquisitions; Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (September 25, 2015)
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)
Land Acquisitions: Appeals of Land Acquisition Decisions (November 13, 2013)

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

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