The town of Aquinnah and a group of residents have petitioned to intervene in a federal lawsuit over whether the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has the right to open a casino on the Vineyard. The court filings last week came shortly after a judge ruled that the case would be tried in federal court.
Incumbent selectman Beverly Wright stressed her experience over the past three years while challenger Julianne Vanderhoop emphasized helping the younger generation during a candidates forum in the old town hall Wednesday night. The town election is May 14.
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.