A Native American Tribe was officially given a reservation on which to build a casino within the borders of the state of Massachusetts.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the Bureau of Indian Affairs officially designated Mashpee Wampanoag lands as a reservation on Friday. In September, the U.S. Department of Interior agreed to take 321 acres of tribe-owned land into trust on its behalf. The Tribe was officially recognized in 2007.
The Mashpee Wampanoag are planning a $500 million casino in the city of Taunton.
“This cements our right to self-determination now and for future generations,” Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell said in a statement. “After decades of painstaking work, we are overjoyed the government of the United States has officially issued this reservation proclamation, as we are witnessing the rebirth of our nation.”
If built, the casino could be the third in the Bay State. Respective projects from Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International are slowly becoming a reality.
A slots-only parlor from Penn National Gaming opened last year. Massachusetts could still give another casino license to a developer, a location that would be near the Mashpee Wampanoag’s proposed casino.
Under the terms of the compact, Massachusetts will receive 17 percent of gaming win if the Tribe’s casino is the only one of its kind in the southeast region of the state.