The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) will appeal a judge’s ruling denying it the right to operate a gambling hall in Aquinnah, a lawyer representing the tribe said Sunday.

Tribal council members last week gave the go-ahead to a legal attempt to overturn the ruling by U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor 4th, who rejected the tribe’s bid to convert its unfinished and vacant community center into a class II (electronic bingo) gaming operation, said Scott Crowell, a Sedona, Arizona-based attorney.

Mr. Crowell said the tribe would certainly appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, but might first ask the judge to reconsider the ruling. “We disagree with the decision on several levels,” he said.

The tribal council, elected by the tribe’s membership, voted on an appeal Wednesday night, with Mr. Crowell consulting by telephone. Tribal sources said two council members dissented.

In his 40-page ruling on Nov. 13, Judge Saylor said the tribe has not shown that it exerts sufficient “governmental power” over its lands to qualify for a class II facility under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which establishes a framework for Indian gambling.

Mr. Crowell said “the irony is not lost on us that he has ruled that the tribe’s programs are not sufficiently funded to exercise governmental power, yet he’s depriving the tribe of the means that hundreds of tribes around the country use” to underwrite such activities.

The judge also ruled that IGRA, the gaming act, does not supersede the Massachusetts Settlement Act passed by Congress in 1987 to provide the tribe 485 acres in Aquinnah in exchange for its compliance with state and local laws, including gaming prohibitions.

Mr. Crowell said the judge’s ruling in this area was in “clear error.”