From the moment that Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled his casino proposal, those of us who are focused on Middleborough have wondered what would happen.
The Mashpee Wampanoags, as a federally recognized tribe, could build a gambling facility without taking part in the state process, thus avoiding the state taxes Patrick wants to collect. But because the federal process can take so long, the Mashpee could risk having to compete with two nearby casinos before their own facility could even open.
Now, in a sign that the Mashpee’s political advisers believe Patrick’s plan has become bogged down, the Boston Daily blog reports that the tribe has decided to take the federal route. If that’s the case, then casino opponents will have their hands full. Opposition to Patrick’s plan by the Massachusetts House is necessary, but it may not be sufficient. There are enough questions over the dubious process by which the Middleborough deal was approved that it ought to be possible to delay things for years. But who knows?