Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah releases casino plans for Freetown - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah releases casino plans for Freetown, Lakeville

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AQUINNAH (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) unveiled plans for a casino in Lakeville and Freetown on Tuesday night.

The tribe says Phase 1 of the casino plan includes a $167 million development on 500 acres.  In addition to a casino, the project calls for a hotel, retail space, parking and traffic mitigation. 

The casino would be in direct competition with the Mashpee Wampanoags who want to build a $500 million destination resort casino in Taunton. 

"We're looking to boost the local economy and provide local jobs," Aquinnah Tribe Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais told a crowd gathered at the Apponequet Regional High School in Lakeville. 

Police estimated that 200 people attended the meeting.

The Aquinnahs have to win the approval of the host community and they don't have a lot of time to do that.  They acknowledge it is tight. 

"We're doing the best that we can in the timeline that's been put out in front of us," said Andrews-Maltais.


The host community vote in Freetown is scheduled for May 29, while the vote in Lakeville is set for June 2. 

The state gaming law says a tribe must have a compact with the governor and the approval of a host community by July 31; however, Gov. Patrick refuses to enter into negotiations with the Aquinnah because he claims they ceded rights to pursue tribal gambling in a settlement of a land dispute on Martha's Vineyard in the late 1980s.

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