Tribe leaders plan to start casino construction next year

The tribe says it's a crucial hurdle toward opening a resort casino without state approval

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MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) — Tribal leaders say the Mashpee Wampanoag will begin construction of a $500 million resort casino in Taunton next spring.

Chairman Cedric Cromwell and other officials of the Cape Cod-based tribe spoke Saturday about the federal government’s approval of their request to place land in trust for the tribe.

Cromwell said it’s an historic moment and the tribe intends to make it “mutually beneficial” to all Massachusetts residents.

The Cape Cod Times reports tribe attorney Arlinda Locklear acknowledged opponents say they intend to challenge the move, but said they are unlikely to succeed.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs on Friday approved the tribe’s application to hold over 300 acres in Taunton and Mashpee in trust.

The tribe says it’s a crucial hurdle toward opening a resort casino without state approval.

The Mashpee lands are for tribal government administration.

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