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Native American Tribes Back Up Mashpee Wampanoag Taunton Tribal Casino Project

The city of Taunton, Massachusetts is well-known for its tribal casino involvement and for quite some time now one of the Native American tribes, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has been making attempts to maintain its land in trust and move forward with its tribal casino project. Now the community’s support of the idea and the legislation for it seems to have surged which could see the tribal developer give green light to its $1 billion casino project.

It could be recalled, that around the end of 2009 the tribe began working on its plans to construct a casino location near East Taunton’s Silver City Galleria. Back then the tribe entered an agreement with the Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye, which meant that the tribe had to pay the city as much as $8 million per year. A while after that, in 2015, in a move that disregarded all odds and federal law, the land was taken into trust by the Secretary of the Interior for the Mashpee, to which the community of East Taunton responded with a lawsuit that they eventually won.

With the help of this taking into trust move, a total of 130 hectares of land were listed as the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s reservation. Some 60 hectares of this amount were located in the town of Mashpee in Massachusetts, whereas another 70 hectares were located in the town of Taunton which is located about 56 kilometers away from Mashpee.

The ultimate goal of the Native American tribe was to invest its funds and construct a new tribal casino venue which to attract players to the town of Taunton and develop the gambling field on a local level.

$1-Billion Casino Resort Could See Approval

However, the tribal plans were questioned by the authorities which had other thoughts regarding the casino development. With the claims that the tribe is not really an Indian tribe, the community made it clear that they want a regular casino, instead of a tribal one to be constructed in their vicinity.

Over the span of the months since the legal limbo began the tribe has been sinking in debt amounting to millions, while in the meantime no fresh income has been generated, putting at risk the financial status of the tribe. Now across the US Native American tribes have begun expressing their support of the casino project which could improve the economic state of Taunton.

There are two bills called Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reaffirmation Act which according to the claims should be voted out of committee. As many as 21 individual tribes have shown their support of the new casino project and they claim that in 2 different letters aiming to push the lawmakers in the right for them direction.

The organizations which are approving of the future casino represent a large number of tribes. They are to the liking of the United South and Eastern Tribes which protect the best interest of more than 20 tribes, among them the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah; the National Indian Gaming Association, which represents a total of 184 federally recognized tribes.

There is also the Apache Alliance, representing Apache Tribes in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The upcoming months are set to witness development related to the potential resort casino project.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.