Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Aquinnahs to Partner with Seneca Nation on Massachusetts Casino

By Ken Davison

The Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe has partnered with the Seneca Nation of New York to jointly bid for one of the three Massachusetts commercial casino licenses proposed by Governor Deval Patrick.

If the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe does not win one of the three commercial licenses, they will launch plans build a casino on tribal land. One of the locations under consideration by the tribe is the city of Palmer, which is in the western part of the state and is the same location where the Mohegan Tribe has also expressed interest for a casino.

The Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe is located on Martha's Vineyard but will likely seek to add land into trust in another part of the state if they do not win one of the three commercial casino licenses. Another Federally-recognized in Massachusetts, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, recently sent an application to the U.S. Department of the Interior to take 160 acres of land into trust in the town of Mashpee and 550 acres in Middleborough. The Mashpees are proposing a $1 billion casino in Middleborough, near the east coast town of Plymouth. The Mashpee's partners are Sol Kerzner and Len Wolman, the developers of Mohegan Sun and owners of a casino and racetrack in Rhode Island.

The Seneca Nation operates three casinos in or near Buffalo, New York.