Casino News: Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and Middleboro continue casino debate

Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and Middleboro continue casino debate

 July 26, 2007, 12:21 am (10 years ago)
Discussions regarding the establishment of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe casino are announced to be resumed this week, following a refusal of the tribe of a counteroffer made by the Middleboro town to add to the deal.

The initial offer made in June 11th included the payment of $7 million for a 10-year period by the casino to Middleboro, and additionaly $150 million for improvements concerning casino infrastructure. For these payments, the tribe's plans of building a $1 billion casino resort in the community would be supported by the town.

A couteroffer was made, however, on July 3rd, of $250 million for improvements of the casino's infrastructure, and an unattested percentage of revenues greatly exceeding the yearly $7 million. Glenn Marshall, the tribal Council Chairman, reported that the officials of Middleboro became "uselessly hostile" in their actions to get extra millions funds. He also stated that the counteroffer made would steal their independence, so hardly fought for by the tribe.

Regardless of this, Marshall recognized that the town is the best deal for their casino, because of the position of the resort, that would permit a staggering competition between the Fox woods and the Mohegan Sun Casinos, resulting in a common ground for a profitable deal for all sides.

However, by law the tribe has the right to operate bingo parlors in the range of 50 miles from Cape Cod, the tribe's residence. Their decision of being approved by the town council came as a result of their intention of forming good relationships with their possible partners for business, in other words.

The Gambling Fact Finding Committee of Middleboro wants to hear everyone's opinion before arriving at a final decision. Some of their first doubts regarding the acceptance of the tribe's offer can be justified by the policy analysis of the Dartmouth center of the University of Massachusetts, lead by Director Clyde Barrow. Mr Barrow was strongly against the tribe's offer over Texas for the construction of a five star facility of gambling in Middleboro. Barrow claims the Narragansett Indian Tribe on West Warwick and Rhode Island would have paid a lot more to West Warwick than the Mashpee Wampanoag's offer. The proposed agreement would have excluded the Narragansett Indian tribe under tribal trust, and therefore exclude them from taxes. Moreover, the supposed agreement wouldn't have acknowledged the land as sovereign and would have demanded taxes from them.

There are controversities concerning the offer made by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, nevertheless the town is put under pressure to reach mutual agreement by negociating the offer further.
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