The chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) vowed Tuesday to move ahead with plans to build a class II gaming facility in Aquinnah — and quickly.
Chairman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais said the tribe is “totally cleared” to build a casino facility in Aquinnah and would do so in a matter of months, not years. She said the tribe is looking for a partner in the project.
Class II casinos are restricted to games of bingo, and various card and table games where players can bet against each other but not against a dealer or the house.
A federal lawsuit challenging the state’s right to reserve a casino license in southeastern Massachusetts for an Indian tribe will go forward without any involvement from the Vineyard.
In a decision issued yesterday, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton denied attempts by the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the town of Aquinnah and the Aquinnah Gay Head Community Association to intervene in a case brought by a private casino developer against Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
A decision by the state gaming commission late last week to open up Southeastern Massachusetts to commercial bidding for casinos will not disrupt casino plans by the Vineyard Wampanoags, the head of the Vineyard tribe said.
“We have been following these events as well . . . . It doesn’t impact us at all,” Cheryl Andrews-Maltais said in an email to the Gazette. Mrs. Andrews Maltais is chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).
With the deadline now past to apply for commercial casino licenses in Massachusetts, the chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) said the tribe will not pursue a class three license from the state but will continue to press for a high-stakes bingo hall in Aquinnah.