- Vineyard Tribe wants Class III Gaming License
- Tribe is also petition for mobile sports betting
- Tribe pushing for a discussion with Massachusetts Gaming Commission
The tribe opened negotiations with then Governor Deval Patrick but did not get approval. The tribe has recently focused on obtaining a Class II gaming license as it does not need approval from the state.
Proposed Bingo Hall Meets With Opposition
The Wampanoag Tribe tried to get a bingo hall going in Aquinnah in 2019 and cleared a lot of land near its tribal headquarters. However, they had to stop work on the proposed bingo hall as the town raised a legal dispute. A federal appeals court asked the tribe to obtain a building permit from the town before commencing construction.
The Vineyard tribe wasn’t in favour of obtaining a building permit from the tribe and hence construction work has come to a halt. The tribe has now decided to change track and renew its push for a Class III Gaming license.
Tribe Sends Formal Request For Gaming Negotiations
The tribe sent across a formal letter to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) on Sep 8 asking for gaming negotiations to be opened. Cheryl Andrews Maltais, tribal chairwoman said an official letter was sent based on the instructions outlined by the Indian Gaming Rights Act (IGRA).
The IGRA stipulates that when a tribe wants a Class III gaming license, it must first open out a tribe-state compact. The tribe decided to make the letter public recently as one of the tribal board members said it was important for the rest of the tribe to know what was going on between the tribe and the state.
The tribal letter to current Governor Charlie Baker does not mention anything about the proposed electronic bingo hall nor does it specific whether the tribe intends to develop its casion on tribal land or federal land, if it is granted a Class III gaming license.
The letter has also made it clear that apart from the Class III gaming license, the tribe also wants approval for a mobile sports betting license, if Massachusetts does decide to pass legislation to legalize sports betting in the state.