Wampanoag Tribe to Open Gambling Hall on Martha’s Vineyard
The Wampanoag tribe on Martha’s Vineyard in Boston has said that it has received permission to open a casino-style gambling hall on the Massachusetts island.The chairwoman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, said, “We are announcing that we will probably be the first gaming site in the state. We’ve been able to secure our federal approvals.”
The announcement resulted in a shocked reaction in the State House where legislative leaders have been fighting against plans to bring gambling to the area for decades. However, the tribe received a legal opinion from Eric Shepard, the acting general counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission. Last month Shepard said that the Wampanoag tribe can build a class 2 casino which may include slot machines and card games such as poker.
The tribe is hoping to open a temporary slot parlor at a community center in the next few months containing a few hundred machines. There are plans to build a permanent facility but the tribe wants to make sure that it is properly planned.
However, town officials are already saying they will do everything they can to stop the plans going forward, so it may be a while before any permanent facilities are built.