A federal judge will not reconsider his recent ruling rejecting a bid by the Wampanoag tribe to build a casino in Aquinnah.
In a one-sentence decision on Wednesday this week, U.S. District Judge Dennis Saylor 4th denied a request to reconsider by tribe attorneys.
“After careful consideration and review, the  motion of defendants and counterclaim-plaintiffs for reconsideration is denied,” the decision said.
The case is now expected to head to a formal appeal process in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the first circuit.
In his much-anticipated ruling last month, Judge Saylor found that the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) does not qualify under the Indian Gaming Rights Act (IGRA) for a class II gambling facility (bingo). He said the 1988 law does not trump an earlier settlement act signed by the tribe and approved by Congress where the tribe gave up some of its sovereign rights in exchange for receiving land in trust.
Tribal leaders want to convert an unfinished community on tribal land in Aquinnah to a bingo hall. The town, a taxpayer group and the state sued to block the effort and the case eventually wound up in federal court. Judge Saylor’s 40-page ruling, issued Nov. 13, sided clearly with the town and taxpayers in the matter.
Attorneys for the tribe filed the motion to reconsider early this month, saying the judge did not take proper note of recent relevant decisions at the federal level involving Indian tribe casinos in two other states.
The tribe’s lawyers, headed by Scott Crowell, of Sedona, Ariz., asked for oral arguments on the motion and said they would take their case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the first circuit if the motion was unsuccessful.