The residents of Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, sued the Government, which was planning to build a casino by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. As an outcome, the Federal judge rules in favor of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and against the residents in Taunton who sued the Government.
In the ruling, the judge said that the “historical record indicates that the Mashpee have had a robust connection to the designated lands for over four centuries.” Before the judge’s ruling, US Department of Interior secured the Tribe’s 321 acres. The ruling affirmed that decision by granting summary judgment to the DOI.
Essentially, the territory devoted to the casino landmarks is a small fraction of the Tribe’s ancestral territory. Tribal Chair Brian Weeden commented, ”This reservation is crucial to our ability to exercise our sovereign right to self-governance, to preserve our language and culture, and to provide for our people.” Taunton residents complained that the Government, as the Tribe’s historical domain, did not include the city. This led to the suit action in February 2022, after the Biden administration decided that “the tribe’s reservation was arbitrary, capricious and unlawful because the tribe isn’t eligible for a reservation since it wasn’t an officially recognized tribe in 1934, the year the federal Indian Reorganization Act became law.”
What is Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and what is the plan?
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present-day Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island for more than 12,000 years. After a difficult process lasting more than three decades, the Mashpee Wampanoag were re-acknowledged as a federally recognized tribe in 2007.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe plans to build a $1 billion destination resort casino in the City of Taunton. The casino will be called First Light Resort & Casino and feature a 150,000 square feet casino. It will involve 3,000 slots, 150 table games, and 40 poker tables. There will also be a hotel with two 12-story towers and 300 rooms each. Additionally, there will be an event center and an indoor/outdoor water park.
Is sports betting legal in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts recently joined more than 30 US states that have regulated sports betting. At this point, there is only retail sports betting allowed. However, legal online betting is on the way. The state went live on January 31. Read Legal online Sports betting approaching Massachusetts here!
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