BOSTON (WWLP) — Governor Deval Patrick has signed a gaming compact with the
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe that authorizes them to operate a
resort-style casino in Taunton.
If the state Legislature approves the gaming compact, it will be sent to the federal government for final approval.
Critics fear that if the compact is delayed too long by the federal government, the southeastern region of the state will lose relevancy as commercial casinos are developed in the rest of the Commonwealth.
In that case, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission could issue a commercial casino license to a rival developer – which means there could eventually be four casinos in the state – something the governor wants to avoid.
“But the risk on the other side is that if we don’t allow some reasonable period of time, that we can end up with two facilities in region C, which I think everybody feels is saturation, so we’re going to do what we can to move this process along as quickly as possible,” Patrick said.
Under the compact, the state will receive 21.5% of the tribal casino’s gross gaming revenue, which is less than it would receive under commercial casino agreements.
But if the state does not negotiate a deal with the Mashpee Wampanoags, the tribe could still build a casino on their own with federal approval, which means the state would not pocket any revenues at all.
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