BIA Clarifies Letter for Mashpee Casino Issues
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August 31, 2015
A letter was sent on August 26 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The letter
states that the decision for the land trust application by the Mashpee Wampanoag
Tribe is still undecided. However the BIA will begin accepting comment
submissions to be made before the final ruling has been made. The tribe is
attempting to place land into trust in Taunton and Mashpee as part of their
If the land is approved, the tribe will be able to continue with plans to build
a Taunton casino at a cost of $500 million.
However, a letter that was sent by the BIA on August 21 to Taunton officials
that lead many people to think that the final ruling was going to happen soon.
The latest letter was sent as a clarification. The comments on the proposed
reservation request by the tribe will be allowed for 30 days. The request is
currently being reviewed. A date that the BIA will release a reservation
proclamation has not been released. The placing of land into trust is different
than giving a reservation proclamation.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has been wanting to give a gaming license
for the southeastern section of the state. However, the process has been
complicated over the legality of the Mashpee tribe wanting to build their casino
on the land taken into trust.
Commercial casino gaming applications had been put on hold because the
commission does not want to oversaturate the area's gaming market. However the
submission of applications were finally allowed by the commission due to the
legal issues that the tribe had faced.
Applications for the southeastern casino will be evaluated thoroughly. The final
decision for the gaming license will take place after all factors, including the
potential Mashpee casino, have been considered.
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