Native tribe wins permission to expand casinos

Aquinnah Wampanoags would operate a casino at the touristic island.

Native American Tribe Aquinnah Wampanoags would be able to construct a new casino and hotel in Martha’s Vineyard island of Massachusetts.

US.- The American Native Tribe Aquinnah Wampanoags celebrated yesterday a federal court resolution on a legal battle based on a casino license. After the latest resolution introduced by the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, a ruling that used to block the tribe’s attempt to install a new casino in Martha’s Vineyard lost effectiveness.

“Hopefully this decision will help people better understand the responsibilities, rights and privileges of our tribe,” commented tribal chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, who also celebrated the federal court’s decision by adding: “We are simply thrilled.” The previous ruling, sentenced by a lower court had determined that the Aquinnah Wampanoags tribe did not possess enough administration authority to propose a casino business.

As the project is back on track, Martha’s Vineyard, an exclusive touristic island of Massachusetts, would be soon offering a new casino service. The operators will construct a gaming venue with 300 slot machines, which is expected to generate US$5 million per year in revenue. However, the intentions may face further battles as both the Town of Aquinnah and the State of Massachusetts filled a suit to prohibit a casino.

“I still think our position is the correct one, and we’ll explore where we go from here,” stated to the Boston Globe Ronald Rappaport, a lawyer for the town. Rappaport explained that the group will set appeals to the US Supreme Court to stop the gaming project. Nevertheless, current State laws establish that American Native Tribes are allowed to operate video bingo and slot machines without the control of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The operators would insist on a sooner resolution to begin their project.