Lawmakers Urged Not To Amend Casino Agreement Between Gov. Patrick, Tribe

July 16, 2012 12:00 AM
Lawmakers Urged Not To Amend Casino Agreement Between Gov. Patrick, Tribe
" BOSTON (AP) — Representatives of the Mashpee Wampanoag made clear Monday they would not accept any state-imposed deadline for the tribe to place land on which it hopes to build a resort casino into federal trust.

Meanwhile, a top aide to Gov. Deval Patrick urged lawmakers not to tinker with a compact the administration reached with the Mashpee last week.

Rep. Robert Koczera, a New Bedford Democrat, told a legislative hearing that he would seek to add to the compact an August 2014 deadline for the tribe to receive approval for its land-in-trust application from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones reports.

Download: jones-wampanoag-wrap-2.mp3

The land-in-trust process is critical to the tribe’s effort to develop a $500 million casino in Taunton. But experts say the process could take two or more years and could be slowed by litigation over the landless Mashpee’s status as a recently recognized federal tribe.

The Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technology voted immediately after the hearing to recommend approval of the compact, which would guarantee the state a 21.5 percent share of future gambling revenues from a tribal casino "

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