Mashpee tribe fights over Taunton casino


Credits: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

The Massachusetts tribe is trying to build a US$1 billion casino.

US.- The Native American tribe Mashpee Wampanoag is still trying to secure a land to build an important Las Vegas-style casino. The venue could be the third in the Bay State area, where other projects are being developed, such as the ones from Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International.

The legal battle just moved to the federal appellate level, where Mashpee is trying to obtain the reservation land that they need to be able to start building the US$1 billion facility. The casino is backed by Genting Group, a rival company of MGM and Wynn. Under federal law, tribes have the right to run casinos on reservations. However, US District Judge William G. Young argued that the Department of the Interior lacked the authority to acquire land in trust for the tribe because the Mashpee tribe was not federally recognised at the time of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act.

The Department of the Interior is currently fighting for the tribe. Local property owners in Taunton have sued the company, attempting to block the casino from being built. If the tribe succeeds and the casino starts the construction process, it’s expected to be open by 2022, featuring more than 3000 slots machines, 150 gaming tables and a 40-table poker room. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe said that they would pay 17 percent of gaming earnings to the state.