The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to wade into the legal fight over the Aquinnah tribe’s gaming aspirations, clearing the way for an electronic bingo facility on Martha’s Vineyard.

In a two-word order — “certiorari denied” — the court refused to accept the case for review, dashing the best hopes of the town, the state and a community group to thwart a gambling hall on tribal land at the western tip of the Island.

Last April, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) won a ruling from a federal appeals court, which said the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act superseded the 1987 Massachusetts Settlement Act’s provisions restricting gaming.

By declining to review the case, the Supreme Court leaves that decision intact.

In a statement emailed to the Gazette Tuesday morning, Tribal Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais expressed gratitude to “all of our supporters both tribal members and non-tribal members alike,” including the tribe’s legal team and various federal agencies.

“Now that this issue is finally resolved, we’d like to put the legal battles behind us, and focus on working with the town and commonwealth; to weigh our options and determine the best pathway forward for us to provide the necessary services of health care, elders’ and children’s services, education, housing and employment opportunities for all of our Tribal members,” the statement said.

“It was a great and historic day for the Aquinnah Wampanoag People!” the statement concluded.

Gaming opponents noted the long odds of getting the Supreme Court to give the case full consideration.

“We’re disappointed,” said Aquinnah town counsel Ronald Rappaport. “They only grant certiorari in very few cases. I will be meeting with selectmen [this week] to discuss what steps are available to the town in view of this decision.”

The meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Larry Hohlt, president of the Aquinnah/Gay Head Community Association, also expressed disappointment about the court’s decision, and questioned the practicality of a bingo parlor in Aquinnah.

“I think it’s a wrong decision on the merits, frankly, but realistically I’m not surprised because the odds of getting a case before the Supreme Court are daunting,” he said.  “In a rural town on an island, inaccessible, only one two-lane road in, [a gambling hall] makes no sense.”

Mr. Hohlt later emailed AGHCA members to inform them that last year’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeal for the First Circuit won’t be disturbed by the Supreme Court. He also suggested there might be ambiguity about what other state and town rules might be enforced.

“As a practical matter, the First Circuit’s decision leaves open many questions as to the effect of the its ruling on the other parts of the settlement agreement with the tribe — for example the tribe’s submission to local zoning rules,” the email said. “The legal issues aside, the AGHCA will continue to oppose a casino located in Aquinnah and will follow developments accordingly.”

While the order ends the primary legal challenge to gaming on the Island, the tribe’s plans remain opaque. Tribal leaders have been silent about whether they will quickly move to build a facility and, if so, where it will be located.

The site previously identified by leaders for such a facility, a 6,500-square-foot building, last year was completed for its original purpose, as a community center. It’s unclear whether the tribe intends to reverse course and retrofit it for gaming, which may require it to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in Housing and Urban Development funds earmarked for a community center.

The order also places the town, state and Aquinnah/Gay Head Community Association at a crossroads: should they now work with the tribe to minimize any adverse impact of a gaming operation, or pursue other legal strategies to slow down, if not stop, such a facility?

Tribal leaders point to a bingo hall as an engine of economic growth, a source of jobs and stream of revenue for a variety of tribal programs. A 2015 tribe-commissioned report found that a facility with 300 machines could raise nearly $5 million annually. Opponents have questioned that figure, as well as the promise of other benefits.