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

Deval Patrick’s gambling addiction

What on earth is Gov. Deval Patrick doing? As I and many other casino opponents have pointed out repeatedly, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe cannot open a full-fledged casino in Middleborough — or anywhere else — unless the state Legislature legalizes casino gambling.

Yet WBZ-TV (Channel 4) reports that Patrick is negotiating with the tribe in an attempt to strike a deal that will bring a casino to Middleborough. Unfortunately, casino opponents lost a bit of leverage last week, as federal officials backed away from a proposal to crack down on video bingo. The Mashpee would be able to build a bingo hall regardless of whether casino gambling is legal in Massachusetts.

But considerable obstacles remain. The tribe’s Middleborough application could well be rejected by the U.S. Department of Interior, as it seeks to allow a casino to be built on newly acquired property rather than traditional tribal land.

Moreover, the process followed by Middleborough town officials was a disgrace. Casino opponents could no doubt keep this tied up in court for years if they have the resources. It’s a shame they have to fight the governor, too.

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  1. Gladys Kravitz

    What on earth is Gov. Deval Patrick doing? Why… fanning the flames of inevitability, of course!It’s coming… you can’t stop it… you’re getting sleepy… very sleepy.The fact remains, in addition to approval by the legislature, the process of taking the land into trust in Middleboro is comlicated and by NO MEANS, a done deal.In fact, new regulations require that newly aquired reservation land for gaming must be no more than 25 miles from the current tribal government. The Mashpees Tribal government resides 39 miles from the land in Middleboro. That’s just ONE hurdle of MANY!Stay tuned for more negative stories about Sal DiMasi to start showing up in the Herald!

  2. Bellicose Bumpkin

    My take on this is:# Patrick is threatening to push the big red button in hopes of scaring the legislature into reviving his casino legislation next year. This will be accompanied by intense lobbying by Patrick and the unions.# Patrick is pushing the big red button in retaliation for the embarrassing defeat of his woefully inadequate casino legislation# Patrick has gone insane and forgotten how the process works.

  3. Man who hates casinos

    Oh please, Dan…you REALLY think the Dep’t of Interior, or ANY federal agency, is ultimately going to stop a casino? Fat chance.

  4. Steve

    Just curious – when does that Dept of Interior application expire?Given the relationship between Obama and Patrick, would an Obama Interior Dept be friendlier to positions that Patrick supports? Alternatively, will McCain try to tweak Obama by influencing the Bush Interior Dept to reject the petition?

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Steve: Obama opposes casino gambling. If he becomes president, I hope it would become harder for Indian tribes to open casinos. I also hope and expect that he would not intervene to make an exception for Massachusetts.

  6. Anonymous

    Man who hates…. Casino’s have, in fact, been stopped on many occasions in recent years. This is quite possibly due to local and regional opposition. The Feds “bending” on bingo slots is more for tribes operating casinos currently, not for tribes with land not yet in trust with the federal gov’t. The regulations on indian gaming have also changed or are about to. Some of the changes include making it more difficult to open a casino. Join the fight, and come in for the win.

  7. Anonymous

    Will someone take the poor man aside and explain to him how government works? He’s not figuring this out on his own and someone, maybe a casino opponent, needs to have a good sit down, talk to.bea

  8. Anonymous

    It’s tiem for Democrats to identify a candidate to oppose Patrick next time.What a disappointment.

  9. nancy

    The man lost the first time and doesn’t have the political sense to lick his wounds in silence. The casino isn’t coming and he needs to get over it.

  10. Anonymous

    Patrick, dumb and desperate. Casinos in Mass, proof:BIA, proof. One-twentieth of native blood does not a native make.Felons on payroll: proof. Slack, nada: free pass out of jail: nada.VA benefits for convicted rapists and AWOL: nada.CHECK THE WAMPANOAG CRIMINAL RECORDS.Marshall: convicted rapist, false VA benefits.A leader for the Mashpee.What an example.CHECK ALL THE MASHPEE CRIMINAL RECORDS.

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