By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Will the Mashpee go it alone?

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?

Meanwhile, the New Bedford Standard-Times covers the fledgling Casino Free Mass, a new statewide coalition that held its first public event yesterday.

And I’ll be helping Casino Free Mass on Nov. 15.

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  1. Peter Porcupine

    Dan – I’ve said it before. They’d be fools NOT to go their own way. Deval’s greed will guarantee that Middleboro will host a casino.

  2. Anonymous

    Dubious process delays nothing any longer than it would be otherwise delayed. You should know that by now.

  3. Peter Porcupine

    Dan – This just in - paragraph – “By opting for the federal route, the Mashpees save a bundle of money ($350,000 to bid, $200 mil for the license and at least $100 mil annually in taxes). But on the other hand, the federal option puts the tribe on what could be a much dicier path to big time gaming. The major hang up right now being that the plot of land in Middleborough where they’d build has yet to be designated Indian land by the federal government. And though the tribe has petitioned the feds for such recognition, the Bureau of Indian of Affairs hasn’t indicated when it will consider the request.”

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