BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — The House and Senate voted in favor of precluding lawmakers from submitting amendments to a tribal gaming deal Tuesday that will give a native American tribe the exclusive right to build a casino in the southeast region of the state. The House will vote on whether to approve the casino “compact” on Wednesday, followed by the Senate on Thursday
“It’s never done until it’s done but it’s a good compact, it’s a good deal, for the tribe and for the people of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick.
Many southeastern Massachusetts lawmakers opposed the order, arguing there should be a two-year deadline for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to secure federal land in the area before a commercial casino license can be issued.
“I am opposed because the surrounding communities have been left out of the process, we have repeatedly asked the governor’s office to include us, to have a sit down with us to discuss the concerns and that has not been open and transparent,” said Rep. Keiko Orrall (R-Lakeville).
But other lawmakers say time is of the essence and if there are any changes made to the compact, the deal will fall apart.
“It’s a one time deal,” said Rep. Joe Wagner (D-Chicopee). “If we were to amend the compact it would go away. The Wampanoags have already said that they’re not interested in negotiating another compact or new compact.”
If no deal is made with the tribe, they could seek federal approval for a casino without state involvement and without any obligation to give the state a portion of their gross revenues. Under the compact, Massachusetts will give support to the Mashpee Wampanoags and exclusivity to build a casino in the southeast region in exchange for 21.5 percent of its gross gaming revenues.
Copyright 2013 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!