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Tribe expects Massachusetts casino to be smaller

16 April 2009

BOSTON, Massachusetts -- As reported by The Boston Globe: "The economic downturn and the recent Supreme Court decision affecting the ability of Native American tribes to place land into federal trust have not killed plans for a casino resort in Middleborough, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe officials say. But the casino will most probably be smaller and the process to get the targeted site placed into federal trust longer than initially anticipated.

"Monday was the first time the Tribal Council met with Middleborough selectmen since the Wampanoag elected new leaders in February. Glenn Marshall, the former Tribal Council chairman who crafted the casino deal with the town, is now awaiting sentencing, after pleading guilty to embezzlement and other charges.

"The meeting was also the first between the tribe and the town since the Supreme Court's so-called Carcieri decision, which held that, under the court's interpretation of the Indian Reorganiza tion Act of 1934, only tribes that were federally recognized before 1934 can place land into trust with the US Department of the Interior.

"There is a dispute over whether the Mashpee Wampanoag were a recognized tribe prior to 1934. Tribal leaders contend the tribe had dealings with the federal government before 1934, but others, such as casino specialist Dennis Whittlesey, the Washington attorney who helped Middleborough craft the deal with the Wampanoag, don't agree..."

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