Mashpee Wampanoag casino prospects

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This could be you Middleboro - *Hiccup*

I’ve given my opinion on the prospects of a Mashpee Wampanoag casino and now I’d like to hear yours. The media has been slow to acknowledge that the tribal preference in the casino bill isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Here is Commonwealth Magazine’s take from last week. A few days ago the Boston Globe chimed in. The Cape Cod Times gave their take recently.

But back to you. Do you think the tribe will eventually get a casino?

My own feeling is that the odds of the tribe getting land taken into federal trust(aka reservation land, aka fee to trust land) is exceedingly slim for the foreseeable future. In the highly unlikely event that they do get trust land, the market will be saturated or could be made poisonous by changes to the casino law. According to my friends at Reel Wamps, tribal debt is running high as is dissatisfaction with the Cromwell regime by tribal elders.

One thing that wouldn’t suprise me is to see the tribe come back to Middleboro with a new offer. Time is very short to hit the deadline in the casino bill – July 31, 2012. In that time they have to buy land, have a vote in the host community, negotiate a compact, and make all sorts of financial disclosures. If they can’t get all that done, I could see them coming back to Middleboro and failing miserably. The land in Middleboro needs to be commercially zoned by way of a two-thirds vote a town meeting. I don’t believe the land would make it past MEPA, and frankly Middleboro has been burned once already by these guys. They still owe us at least $500K in planning money and the original deal included payments that were about one-third of what they should have been.

But that’s my take. What’s yours?

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