This week Mr. Vanderhoop officially took over as the new tribal chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). He was elected in November on a campaign of inclusivity.


Faced with a lawsuit challenging its right to build a casino in Aquinnah, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) is seeking to have the case decided in federal, not state court.

The 16-page complaint filed in the state Supreme Judicial Court claims the tribe breached a 1983 land claims settlement agreement by taking steps to allow gaming in Aquinnah.

Prospect of a Vineyard casino was thrust back into the spotlight this week with the announcement the tribe was moving to build a gaming facility in Aquinnah.

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.

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has appealed a decision that blocks its right to intervene in a federal lawsuit concerning the state’s casino law.

In the original lawsuit, private developer K.G. Urban Enterprises argues that a provision in the 2011 gaming act is unconstitutional.