The state gambling commission has heard from advocates and opponents of extending an Indian tribe's exclusive right to develop a casino in southeastern Massachusetts.

    The commission met Thursday at Bristol Community College in Fall River as it considers opening the region to commercial bidders.

    It didn't vote on the issue, but commission chair Steve Crosby said he hoped it could within three weeks.

    The state's 2011 expanded gambling law gave preference in the southeastern region to a federally-recognized Indian tribe, assuming its plans are feasible.

    The Mashpee Wampanoag are planning a resort casino in Taunton. Tribal council chair Cedric Cromwell said Thursday that the tribe's progress is historic and there's no reason to allow commercial bidders.

    But others said a Supreme Court decision will prevent the tribe from getting needed land. (Associated Press)