Taunton Casino Plan May Finally Be Dead
MASHPEE — The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Cape Cod says it has been dealt a "tremendous blow" on Friday that casts serious doubts on the future of the planned $1 Billion Taunton Casino.
The U.S. Department of the Interior informed the tribe that it can not keep land in trust for them. The department took 300 acres into trust for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in 2015, but was sued by local residents objecting to the proposed casino the following year. At that time, a federal judge ordered the department to reconsider, saying it did not have the authority to put the land into trust.
This week's decision says the tribe doesn't qualify because it wasn't under federal jurisdiction when the Indian Reorganization Act was passed in 1934. The tribe received federal recognition in 2007.
According to the Cape Cod Times, Congressman William Keating has introduced a bill to Congress that would prevent legal challenges to the tribe's land.