Governor's new tribal casino agreement

BOSTON (WWLP) — The State Legislature's looking at the Governor's new tribal casino agreement; the deal may benefit the western part of the state.

A Chicopee lawmaker say casino delays in Massachusetts' southeastern region could benefit for casino development in the western part of the state.

After a tribal casino deal, also known as a compact, was rejected by the federal government in October, Governor Deval Patrick filed a second one that requires the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to share less of its gaming profits with the state than before, 17 percent, down from 21.5 percent.

The new compact must be approved by the Legislature and then the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Wampanoag's must also secure land-in-trust from the federal government.

According to Rep. Joe Wagner (D) Chicopee, “Legislators in western Massachusetts might want to support the compact because it might delay for some period of time a final and definitive action in the southeastern region, which would then give, for example, western Massachusetts a leg up and perhaps western Mass would get a shovel in the ground before the southeastern region.”

Before the bill is debated in the Legislature, it must be approved by the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. 

Chicopee Representative Joe Wagner and Wilbraham Senator Gale Candaras serve as co-chairs of that Committee and hope to hold a hearing for the bill soon.


 

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