GOVERNMENT

Wampanoag casino deal most lucrative in U.S.

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/MIKE MERGEN
THE REVENUE SHARING DEAL between Massachusetts and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe for a casino is the most any state has ever negotiated with an American Indian Tribe, according analyst Clyde Barrow.
Posted 7/12/12

TAUNTON – The 21.5 percent share of revenue Massachusetts will earn from a casino built by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is the most any state has ever negotiated with an American Indian Tribe, according analyst Clyde Barrow.

The Cape Cod Times interviewed the casino expert from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Policy Analysis, who said that states typically negotiate shares of 12 to 15 percent of gross revenues.

The deal, which was approved by a tribal council in a 7-1 vote on Wednesday evening, means that the Bay State will earn up to 21.5 of the Wampanoags’ casino’s gross gambling revenues.

"This is the first step in an economic development plan that will bring long-term prosperity to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe while also bringing much-needed job opportunities and revenue to the commonwealth," tribal council chairman Cedric Cromwell said in a statement.

According to the news source, in addition to the 21.5 percent revenue-share, the deal also authorizes all types of gambling except horse racing, bans smoking in the casino and establishes a tribal gaming commission and provides oversight by the Massachusetts gaming commission.

The deal also calls for the tribe to distribute the revenue in a way consistent with how funds are allocated from a commercial casino, calls for an environmental-impact study and requires the tribe to consent to follow state worker compensation, unemployment and health care laws.

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