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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Continues Fight for Taunton Casino

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December 13, 2016

A legal case is still being disputed over the proposed Native American tribal casino in Taunton.

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is trying to have land placed into trust so that as part of their reservation. Then the tribe would begin developing a casino that would cost $1 billion to complete.

The Genting Group has joined with the tribe to help run the casino operations. The company is a competitor of MGM and Wynn, both currently have casinos in development in Massachusetts.

On Thursday the lawsuit had moved to the federal appellate level.

150 acres were granted to the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe by the U.S. Department of the Interior. However the decision was overturned by a federal judge. The ruling was due to the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. The judge ruled that under the guidelines of the Act, the tribe did not have federal recognition and therefore does not qualify for the land. However, the Department of the Interior has disagreed with the ruling and has sided with the tribe.

Taunton property owners have also brought a lawsuit to stop the casino project.

Three Class III casinos were approved to be developed in the state. The casinos would be built in three divided areas of the state. Two casinos were previously approved. The third casino project was not approved by the state gaming board in order for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to have an opportunity to build a casino.

If the tribe can build their proposed casino, 17 percent of gaming revenues would be paid to the state. The casino would also operate 150 gaming tables and 3,000 slot machines.

The casino would open as early as 2022.

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