ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Wampanoags seek approval for Taunton casino

Posted 3/15/12

TAUNTON – Last month, the Mashpee Wampanoags Indian tribe announced that it had acquired an option to purchase 75 acres off Route 24 for a gambling complex near the Silver City Galleria shopping mall, according to the Boston Business Journal.

Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell requested the start of negotiations for a state compact between the Wampanoags and the state of Massachusetts in a letter to Massachusetts’ Gov. Deval L. Patrick on Wednesday.

The expanded gaming law that allows for the construction of three full casinos and one slot parlor statewide gives Native American tribes first bid at the southeastern Massachusetts license provided they can agree to terms with the governor by July 31, said BBJ.

The compact between the state and the tribe will spell out regulations agreed to by state and tribal governments as well as detail what payment in lieu of taxes the tribe will provide the state from casino revenue. The tribe is working with casino developer Arkana Ltd., on the plan.

The Mashpee Wampanoags will face competition from another tribe on Martha’s Vineyard, according to BBJ. The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head-Aquinnah is also pursuing the license and met on Tuesday with Fall River Mayor William Flanagan.

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