Gaming Panel Opens Casino Process in S.E. Mass. To Commercial Developers
The state gaming commission has voted to open the door for commercial developers to apply for casino licenses in southeastern Massachusetts, a region reserved until now for a federally-recognized Indian tribe.
The unanimous 5-0 vote, while a possible setback of the Mashpee Wampanaog tribe, does not preclude the tribe from continuing with its effort to build a resort casino in Taunton.
The tribe faces a number of legal and regulatory hurdles, including a federal land-in-trust designation.
The panel said it would review any commercial casino proposals, but in the end could choose not to award a commercial license if the Mashpee successfully overcomes the obstacles.
In a statement, tribal chairman Cedric Cromwell called the commission's vote ``misguided'' and one that could lead to four casinos in Massachusetts, rather than the thee three envisioned by the 2011 gambling law. (Associated Press)