Wampanoag casino plan meets strong opposition
The Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe had made a
substantial land purchase in Middleboro, Massachusetts to be
used as a casino site.
has been reported that negotiations between the town and the
Indian tribe will soon be under way for which could be the
building of the first casino in the state. Last month the tribe
bought 128 acres off Precinct Street on an auction by the town
for $1.7 million, and the Wampanoag have purchased an option
from a landowner for another 225 acres adjacent to the auctioned
property, which would give them 353 acres for a future casino
The town manager claims that a future casino would greatly
improve the employment opportunities of the towb, which has been
in "layoff mode" for quite some time. The money from the
auctioned land sale alone would take care of the next year's
budget deficit. The town selectman also claim that they will
hear the people on the issue.
The casino, however, seems to be meeting quite strong
opposition. In the beginning of the week, the selectman have
reversed a previous decision, due to public pressure, and agreed
to hold a non binding referendum. The earliest possible time for
such referendum, however, is the next April, since a non binding
referendum has to be held at the same time as a regular annual
town election, and one was just held.
The casino opposition is claiming backdoor deals between the
town selectmen and the Indian tribe, and are lining up to sign
an earlier petition, accusing three of the selectmen in fiscal
mismanagement and calling for the resignation of the three. The
debates heated even more when a couple of weeks ago a suggestion
for a referendum on the casino plan was voted down by the
The Wampanoag tribe chairman has stated that they are going to
listen to the community and help them overcome any objections of
a future casino.