The Road to Casino Gambling

Here is a timeline of key events in efforts by the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) to offer gambling in Massachusetts:

1870 Massachusetts incorporates the town of Gay Head over the objections of the Wampanoags.

Dec. 1974Tribe sues town in U.S. District Court, asserting its rights to tribal land under the 1790 Non-Intercourse Act.

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Leaders of Wampanoag Tribe Explore the Gambling Business
Rachel Orr
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) may go into the gambling business.
 
Last week the tribal council unanimously voted to pursue gaming as a possible means of making money. The council also decided that any future casino would be located on the Massachusetts mainland.
 
“This is only the preliminary,” said tribal chairman Beverly M. Wright this week. “It’s just something we are looking at, just like we’re looking at a museum.”
 
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Wampanoag Tribe Chooses Investor for Casino Venture
Amy Callahan
Wampanoag tribal officials last week chose a new investment partner to finance the $150 million casino and theme park they hope to build in New Bedford.
 
Carnival Hotels & Casinos (CHC International) of Coconut Grove, Fla. will front the money to develop and manage the proposed entertainment center, the tribe officials announced during a press conference in Boston late last week.
 
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Indian Gambling Casino Collapses on Beacon Hill; Tribe Wants Bingo Hall
Yvonne Guzman
The proposed casino was supposed to be a winning bet for all, a rich deal that would be as much of a boon to state taxpayers as it would to the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).
 
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Construction Begins on Wampanoag Bingo Hall in Aquinnah
Julia Wells

Construction has begun on a large bingo hall planned by the tribe in Aquinnah — and tribal leaders have issued a stern warning to the town and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission to not interfere.

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Selectmen Ask Commission to Review Tribe's Casino Plans
Noah Asimow
Aquinnah selectmen have asked Martha’s Vineyard Commission to exercise its authority under its enabling act and review the proposed bingo hall as a development of regional impact (DRI).
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Town Presses Tribe to Air Details on Bingo Hall
Noah Asimow

Aquinnah selectmen are asking the Wampanoag tribe to confirm a list of details about a planned bingo hall. And the selectmen want a response by Tuesday.

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Tribe's Casino Plans Stay Mostly Under Wraps
Noah Asimow

An Aquinnah selectman met with the chairman of the Wampanoag tribe to discuss the current status of the bingo hall project. But there were few new details.

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Selectmen Seek Meeting With Tribe on Bingo Hall
Noah Asimow

Aquinnah selectmen sent a letter to the chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) this week requesting a meeting to discuss the bingo hall.

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Supreme Court Clears Way for Tribe to Build Bingo Hall
John H. Kennedy
On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to wade into the Wampanoag casino case, tribal leaders said this week they are ready to move ahead with plans to build a bingo hall on the Island.
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