Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Tribes In The Media: Wampanoag Tribe Rethinks Deal With Casino Investors

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This installment of The Tribes In The Media is a Cape Cod Times article on the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's deal with its proposed casino investors. Those same casino investors are also recieving about $75 million each year from the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority in a 15-year deal that ends on December 31, 2014.

Investors, not tribe to benefit most from casino
By George Brennan and Stephanie Vosk
Cape Cod Times
June 15, 2009

MASHPEE – Casino investors would pocket nearly three times as much as the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe each year if an Indian casino is ever built.

The terms of the tribe’s agreement with casino moguls Sol Kerzner and Len Wolman were revealed for the first time to tribe members yesterday. A feasibility study commissioned by the tribe this spring showed that a Middleboro casino would generate approximately $700 million in gross gaming revenue each year.

Tribe leaders declined to release specific terms of the agreement because of confidentiality clauses in the contract, but said it is similar to a widely criticized agreement the same investors struck with the Mohegan tribe of Connecticut.

“The terms of the agreement need to be in better alignment with the tribe’s financial goals,” Wampanoag Chairman Cedric Cromwell said.

The revelations come at a time when investors asked tribe leaders to reaffirm a 2006 development deal. On Wednesday night, the tribal council voted unanimously against upholding the terms.

Investors told tribe leaders they need some time to consider their options.

“We hope that in good faith that our investors will be able to negotiate that with us, but the fault doesn’t lie with the investors,” Cromwell said. “It lies with the previous chairman Glenn Marshall.”