A federal judge ruled early this month that the state of Alabama cannot interfere with casinos on tribal lands. The case has caught the attention of both sides in the dispute between the Vineyard Wampanoag tribe and the commonwealth over casino rights on the Island.
After a referendum to quash the plan to put high-stakes bingo in the Wampanoag community center failed by two votes, tribal chairman Tobias Vanderhoop said the project will go forward. But many hurdles remain.
The chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) vowed Tuesday to move ahead with plans to build a class II gaming facility in Aquinnah — and quickly.
Chairman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais said the tribe is “totally cleared” to build a casino facility in Aquinnah and would do so in a matter of months, not years. She said the tribe is looking for a partner in the project.
Class II casinos are restricted to games of bingo, and various card and table games where players can bet against each other but not against a dealer or the house.
A federal lawsuit challenging the state’s right to reserve a casino license in southeastern Massachusetts for an Indian tribe will go forward without any involvement from the Vineyard.
In a decision issued yesterday, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton denied attempts by the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the town of Aquinnah and the Aquinnah Gay Head Community Association to intervene in a case brought by a private casino developer against Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.