Wampanoag tribal leaders reacted with disappointment and casino opponents with relief following a ruling by a federal judge Friday denying the tribe the right to build a casino on tribal land in Aquinnah.
A booklet circulated to members of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) prior to a referendum over the latest plan to bring gaming to Martha’s Vineyard offers the first public details of what the 9,000-square-foot casino in Aquinnah might look like.
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) will continue plans to build a gambling hall in Aquinnah following a tie vote in a special ballot initiative to overturn the project. The final tally was 110 to 110, well short of the required two-thirds majority.
The Aquinnah Cultural Center is hosting the exhibit Captured: 1614 curated by Plymouth 400, which commemorates the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower and the settlers’ relationship with the native populations.
According to a marketing study done for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), a class II casino — essentially, an electronic bingo facility — would net revenue of more than $4.5 million per year, a document filed in federal court this week shows.
Tobias Vanderhoop is in the middle of a legal fight to determine whether the Wampanoag tribe has the legal authority to convert its community center into a class II gambling facility. He was recently deposed by a cluster of attorneys for a federal lawsuit.
Wampanoag tribal elders, families with young children, town officials and others are calling for greater public participation to block efforts by the Wampanoag tribe to build a casino in Aquinnah. A public meeting was held Saturday at the Aquinnah Old Town Hall.