Governor Deval Patrick announced on July 11, 2012 that the Commonwealth has reached a tentative agreement with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe on a Compact agreement which outlines the terms, consistent with federal law, under which the Tribe can operate a gaming facility in Massachusetts.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council and the Massachusetts Legislature must vote to authorize the Compact. If approved by both bodies, the Compact will then be sent to the United States Department of the Interior for final approval.
“This is a good deal for everyone,” said Governor Patrick. “This Compact balances the interests of the Commonwealth with the inherent rights of the people of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. If this Compact is approved, it will allow the Mashpee Wampanoag to open a unique facility that is governed and regulated by the Tribe itself, in partnership with the state. I thank the Tribe for their good faith negotiations to reach an agreement that is in their best interests as well as those of the Commonwealth.”
The Commonwealth and the Mashpee Wampanoag negotiated the Compact over the course of several months. As a tribal government, the Mashpee Wampanoag is not subject to the recently passed Expanded Gaming Act. In exchange for several concessions from the state, the Compact establishes guidelines for a potential tribal casino that are consistent with the policies and principles outlined in the Expanded Gaming Act.
Whether or not there will be casinos in Massachusetts, it is unlikely one will be built in the Berkshires, for any nimber of reasons. At any rate, there are plenty of alternatives to traveling to a casino. Among the alternatives is a visit to partycasino.com.
In November 2011, Governor Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act, which authorized the creation of three resort-style gaming facilities in Massachusetts, along with one slot facility. The Act allows for the gaming facilities to be built in three regions, Western Massachusetts, Greater Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts. The Act directed the Governor to negotiate a compact with any eligible, federally-recognized sovereign tribe for a facility in the Southeastern region. The compact must be negotiated and ratified by the Legislature by July 31, 2012. If those requirements are not met, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is required to put out to bid a commercial license for the facility.