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Governor Deval Patrick Denies Negotiating Gaming Compact With Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

On June 12th, 2008, reports that Governor Deval Patrick was poised to start negotiating a gambling compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe for a casino facility in Middleborough has caused some disturbances in Southeastern Massachusetts. Governor Patrick commented that although he is expecting that no casino proposal will be approved this session, some form of expanded casino gambling will be approved because the Mashpee Tribe has some tribal rights to do so and they want to be a step ahead of that.

Governor Patrick commented that the reports that he is getting ready to negotiate a gambling compact is not correct because he has no plans to negotiate a compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe at the moment. The governor's spokesperson, Kofi Jones commented that Governor Deval Patrick will continue to hold meetings with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe as it continues to complete its application to place 550 acres of land in Middleborough under federal trust.

An environmental study regarding the impact of a casino in Middleborough has already started. Jones added that it is within the right of the Mashpee Tribe to build a casino in any federally recognized land and it is in the best interest of the state to remain in constant correspondence with the tribe regarding their casino plans.

The executive director of the Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District, Stephen Smith, commented that he assumed that when the casino proposal of Governor Deval Patrick failed to pass back in March, the governor would devote his time towards the casino proposal of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

The residents in Southeastern Massachusetts are concerned that their area will not receive what it direly needs if a casino will be built in their area from any gambling compact that will be made between Governor Patrick and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. They believe that a significant portion of the casino gaming profits should be alloted for the needs of the area that willl host the casino. A state usually receives around twenty-five of the total casino profits of a gaming facility.


By Davis Coulter,
06/23/2008 03:16 PM