The Aquinnah Wampanoag is a federally recognized tribe that has been working for some time to be able to open a casino venue in the state of Massachusetts. After a recent court ruling this week, the tribe has been given the go ahead to operate a slot gaming venue on Martha’s Vineyard.
Earlier this week, the 1st United States Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that the tribe did meet the requirements to conduct gaming on their tribal lands. In the United States, tribal gaming is under the jurisdiction of the federal government with regulations in place for operation.
The tribe had faced much opposition from groups who felt they should not be allowed to open a gaming venue. However, the tribe persevered and was able to see a ruling in their favor from the courts this past week. Officials locally and within the state argued that the tribe should not be allowed to offer gambling on its land. It is not clear as to if those opposed will continue to try and block the tribe from opening their gaming venue.
Cheryl Andrews-Maltais is a Chairwoman for the tribe who stated that as always, the Aquinnah Wampanoag has asserted that they have every right to conduct gaming on their tribal lands just as any other tribe in the country does. The decision by the court affirms the tribe’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the land that has always been theirs and helps to solidify their place in the gaming market.
On top of the Aquinnah Wampanoag’s struggle, the Mashpee Wampanoag have also faced troubles in the state in efforts to offer casino gaming. The Mashpee would like to create a casino in the Taunton and plan on spending $1 billion on the project. But have been involved in a court battle on the matter for some time now, as opponents try to stop the tribe from moving forward with their project.