Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nevermore


Once upon an April cheery, a casino knocked, and somewhat leery,
I checked the 'net for clues as to what might be in store,
And then, with my heart beating, drove to the 'Boro for a meeting,
And hoped this proposal would be fleeting, ever fleeting at our door.
But a lawyer at that meeting claimed there was no use in pleading,
The deal was done - and nothing more.

The Town must now approve a contract, the State negotiate a compact,
As per some governmental regulations that you can't ignore.
It's all right there in writing, and therefore no sense fighting,
But those words – they were inciting, inciting some to war.
For quality of life they would be fighting even if it did come down to war
Over this 'done deal' and nothing more.

Then came another meeting, where a Tribal leader was entreating
The people to support his great casino and furthermore,
If you didn't, you were racist - even though these claims were baseless,
But to me this was a tasteless, really graceless show of what's in store
When you let these tasteless tactics open up the door,
To a casino - nothing more.

It was just around this time, they started stealing all our signs.
But rather than accept that all was over, I decided to explore
And learned so many facts along my travels, this done-deal did sure unravel
Though we were silenced by the gavel, a gavel choosing to ignore
Our voices pleading and imploring, to hear those facts you can't ignore
About a casino - nothing more.

Our home values will get lower, local business even slower,
We'll see more crime and traffic and addiction - yet they still assure
That seven million will suffice, and make us all think twice
And heck, casinos are so nice, super duper nice (that and other horse manure)
But that's how many voters were enticed, and the truth was made obscure
By casino money - nothing more.

Some town Selectmen seemed hellbent, on raising a big tent
While threats and orange t-shirts were handed out to those unsure
And on a July day fairly steaming, flying monkeys filled the air with screaming,
And so ended three short months of scheming, scheming just to lure
The despondent and the beaming to approve an agreement and endure
A pro-casino circus – nothing more.

But supporters weren't home free, thanks to an article known as three,
The non-binding referendum some since have chosen to ignore.
Or the chief who declared himself the winner, then turned out to be a sinner
The Governor, a mere beginner, a beginner who should have thought before
Feeding the State a three-casino dinner, which became a thankless chore
He should never mention more.

Since then I've weathered many seasons, and collected many reasons,
Why bingo halls and casinos and done deals are not so sure,
So please don't speak of mitigation, or count on initial reservations,
While there are twenty-five mile limitations, and limitations otherwise galore,
Or neglect grassroots determination, which allows me fully to assure
That a casino will be coming, never, never, nevermore.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Somebody's Got Some 'Splainin' to do...

Ok. A few blog posts ago I linked to a terriffic Sean Murphy article which stated (emphasis mine)
After the April land auction, Healey and the town’s board of selectmen, meeting in secret, got down to negotiating an agreement with the Mashpee Wampanoag and their backers.
And here I was, probably like you, thinking there was absolutely nothing to do about it. But then, I read this from yesterday's MetroWest Daily News,
Two recent Open Meeting Law decisions show how this important legal tool can make town government more transparent, although the decisions aren't always clear cut.

In Milford, the selectmen were ordered by the Worcester district attorney's office to turn over minutes of an executive session held in July with a Colorado real estate developer considering Milford as the site for a resort casino.

After Worcester County Assistant DA David A. Tiberii found the selectmen violated "both the letter and the spirit" of the state Open Meeting Law by meeting behind closed doors to hear from the developer, the selectmen quickly complied and released the minutes, as ordered.

There are a handful of specific reasons why a town board or committee can close out the public and press. The Milford selectmen had cited one exemption that says a town board can close the doors to "consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property if an open discussion" might be detrimental to he negotiating position of the governmental body with a person, firm or corporation. In other words, the law says a board can have a private discussion among board members, but meeting with the man with whom the board might eventually be negotiating for the sale of town-owned land is exactly the opposite of what the exemption is for. If you're playing poker with another person, you don't show him your hand, then expect to successfully bluff.

It doesn't take legal fine print to know the meeting was a bad idea. Casinos are a hot-button issue in Massachusetts, and citizens should be justifiably outraged that elected officials would meet in secret with a casino operator - and even consider selling town land to make it possible - without a thorough public airing of the idea.

So maybe some nice concerned Middleboro citizen should look into that.

The League of Women Voters provides a comprehensive guide to understanding the law and what you can do you if believe it's been violated.

Because we're still scratching our heads about what was happening at all those secret meetings and executive sessions back in 2007 leading up to and following the casino chronicles. And look, thanks to Milford, which didn't even get to the Intergovernmental Agreement stage - we have precident! Their Board had to turn over the minutes.

So anyway, I go look up the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law for more information and come across this awesome site, which - lo and behold - offers on it's front page an example of selected case law. And you'll never guess what the case is.

District Attorney for the Plymouth District v. Board of Selectmen of Middleborough, 395 Mass. 629, 481 NE2d 1128 (1985) The Board could not hold executive sessions for purposes other than those enumerated in MGL chapter 39, sec. 29B.

Sure, this case is from 1985 but still - you just can't make this stuff up.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just the Tip of the Teepee

Detroit businessman Herbert Strather, who at the time was the primary outside investor in the casino deal, worried in a letter to the tribe that his team would be unable to work with (casino skeptic and candidate for tribal chairwoman Paula) Peters.

McDermott found a way to scuttle her bid.

From "In the seat of Wampanoags' power"
Boston Globe, October 26, 2008


Ok, Strather, we know. But who's this McDermott guy?

Turns out William A. McDermott, Jr. is yet another doughy middle-aged non-Indian at the wheel of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, steering it towards a casino future.

According to the article, McDermott

is not a member of the tribe, nor even a Native American. But the heavy-set, glad-handing Dorchester political operative is arguably the single most powerful figure in the fractured Mashpee Wampanoag government.

He wrote the Mashpee Wampanoag constitution. He engineered the defeat of a hostile tribal council candidate. He even helped banish dissenters from the annual powwow.

And above all, he is using political skills honed in the wards of Boston and Chelsea to keep the tribal government functioning during its quest for a $1 billion resort casino in Middleborough.

OK, let's see if we can keep count here. A guy from Detroit, with some help from a currently incarcerated lobbyist from D.C., aided by a selectman from New York, upon the advice of a lawyer from the Skokie, for the ultimate benefit of a couple of investors from South Africa, under the guise of helping secure a sound financial future for a middle class tribe from Cape Cod, manipulated by a State election specialist from Dorchester wants to bring class III gambling to the Bay State, in the form of the world's largest Indian casino in Middleboro, Massachusetts.

Do I have that right?

Interestingly, one of the commentors to the on-line version of this story states

I have no problem with casinos in the Commonwealth, but I have a big problem with people like Wolman and Kerzner coming into the Commonwealth to masquerade as "successful businessmen," manipulate the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, and perpetrate a massive political fraud on our state and federal government.
Well that's the thing isn't it? Because when casinos enter the picture - when they become part of your State's financial infrastructure - you may as well have schemers like McDermott, and not visionaries like John Adams pen your constitution.

I live in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, a town of 27,000 people, chartered at the very dawn of our nation back in 1656 and which apparently is getting zero say in the decision whether or not to site the world's largest casino directly on our border. In fact, it looks like that decision is being made by everyone but us. By people with not only no historic ties to the land, but with no ties at all to the region. The region that I, and a half million of my closest neighbors call home.

And so if, through an unimagined labyrinth of good intentions, bad legislation and unrestrained avarice, a casino is built in the Southeastern part of our State, in addition to the Mashpee Wampanoag constitution, Mr. McDermott may as well have written the Massachusetts constitution as well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Little Economic Engine that Couldn't - Part I


I was going to publish another blog today, but instead I'd like to echo my lovely friend Bumpkin, whose blog this morning revealed enlightening comments from a former mayor of Ledyard, CT, which as you know is home to Foxwoods Mega Casino and Resort.

Because this reminded me that I have a copy of a May 2007 letter from Nicholas Mullane, Current First Selectman of the town of North Stonington, CT - which is the town next door to Ledyard. Mr. Mullane was selectman before, during and after the building of Foxwoods. This is what he has to say:

Casinos don't sleep, you can expect a similar situation to Fenway Park, 35,000 - 50,000 people twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days per year. Increased traffic will impact your Fire, Ambulance and Police Services, not only will the major roads be impacted but the secondary roads, because of the diversion of the local people, casino patrons, and the casino staff. Even your Highway Department will have additional work with more wear and tear on your road infrastructure.

The local money will be diverted from the normal business purchases to the casino for everything from restaurants, refrigerators, automobiles, mortgages, and even college educations.

Furthermore...
Gambling problems will affect the way local and municipal businesses operate. Your quality of life and the way of life that you have today will change completely. Your gas stations and donut shops will flourish...
I dunno. This doesn't exactly sound like the robust iron-horse rivet-popping economic engine some people seem to think it will be.

The following items are from a bullet list of casino impacts that Mullane also put together...

  • Increased traffic through Town, 8,800 to over 25,000 vehicles per day.
  • Increased traffic on Town's secondary roads.
  • With increased traffic comes litter, traffic violations and accidents
  • Closed two houses of prostitution, one with immigration violations
  • Now have one pornography Super Store and a Smoke Shop
  • Started with one Trooper, to Two Troopers, now to Three troopers with an added $50,000 budgeted for overtime services.
  • This area has the highest DUI/DWI rates in the State of Connecticut
  • This area has the highest Gamblers Anonymous Rate in the State of Connecticut
  • Embezzlement rates have increased due to gambling problems 2 to 3 times what they were prior to the opening of casinos.
  • Higher 911 Dispatching fees due to increased traffic calls
  • Had to implement an Incentive Program to retain volunteers
  • Highway Department has suffered a loss of efficiency due to constant high traffic volumes at various Town/State intersections and Town Roads.
  • Property tax were devaluation on all residential property along Rte. 2
  • No economic development in sight with traffic volumes and competition of Casino businesses.
  • Tribe has maximized commercial development on it's Reservation

Remember folks - this is the town NEXT DOOR TO FOXWOODS. Not the host community. This is what Bridgewater, Carver, Lakeville, Halifax, Plympton and Raynham will face. And, oh yes, Middleboro, too.

Someone had tried reading Mullane's letter at the May 2007 meet-and-greet (aka dog-and- pony show) with the not-as-yet disgraced former Mashpee Wampanoag chairman Glenn Marshall - whereupon Marshall loudly declared that Mullane was a racist.

Well, naturally.

Mr. Mullane prophetically ends his letter by saying,

I wish your community well, it is a very complex far reaching impact that is difficult to explain and much more difficult to understand.
What isn't difficult for some of us to understand is that the only real 'economic engine' a casino will be for our region is the type that leaves us for last, dragging us down it's own track while tossing whatever 'mitigation' we can beg for into our powerless outstretched hands.

And now, doesn't that really make us the caboose?

From the Wikipedia definition of Caboose:

Of all the implements of railroading, none has had more nicknames than the caboose. Many are of American or Canadian origin and seek to describe the vehicle or its occupants in derisive ways. Often heard amongst crews was "crummy" (as in a crummy place to live, not elegant, often too hot or too cold, and perhaps not especially clean), "clown wagon," "hack," "waycar," "dog house," "go cart," "glory wagon," "monkey wagon" (a term that indirectly insulted the principal functionary who rode therein, no doubt coined by an engineer), "brain box" (the conductor was supposedly the brains of the train, as opposed to the "hogger" or engineer, who was presumed to be pigheaded), "palace," "buggy" (Boston & Maine/Maine Central), "van" (Eastern and Central Canada, usage possibly derived from the UK term for the caboose), and "cabin." There were others as well, some too profane to appear in print.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?


In a 2007 auction presided over by Middleboro Town Manager Jack Healey, the gavel dropped on a selling price of $1,765,000 for 120 acres of land that went to casino developer Herb Strather. This amounts to $14,708 per acre.

This past week, it was revealed that two separate casino promoters have offered $20,000,000 for 81 acres abutting the Narragansett Indians tribal land in Charlestown. This amounts to $246,913 per acre.

If Middleboro had negotiated this same amount per acre for the casino project land, it would total $29,629,560 - which might have come close to helping to mitigate the impact of Jack Healey's lifetime pension.

It is impossible for me to think about Former Middleboro Town Manager Jack Healey without being reminded of Barney Frank or Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Three mumbling, unlikely leaders of men.

How is it that, in the decades since Nixon lost a debate for failure to tan, and in our own era of botox and bleached teeth, these Elmer Fudd warriors found not only acceptance, but success?

I would learn that, decades ago, Healey was blowing into Middleboro just as I was packing my bags and leaving it for good. In 2007, as I was returning to follow the casino chronicles, Healey was emptying his desk and planning for his retirement party. I'd somehow managed to miss Jack's entire career as Middleboro's man-in-charge, and yet, the repercussions of one of his last acts would rock the entire region, polarize the the State, and thrust me personally into a battle I could never have imagined.

Back then some folks considered Jack a hero. They shook his hand, offering both admiration and gratitude for his magnanimous parting gift of an Indian casino. For these people Jack had personally opened the heavens and caused it to rain shiny new firetrucks.

For others Jack was a villain. Back room meetings, suspiciously timed auctions, and that memo which began, "Casino anyone?"

According to this Commonwealth Magazine article by Sean Murphy,

...the casino developers were already in discussions with Healey and other town officials, and that the talks had predated the auction.

Despite soulful denials of participating in any monkey business, Healey's obvious behind-the-scenes machinations didn't exactly foster trust with some residents. And certainly not with me.

Locals seemed delighted to share gossip about Jack Healey which revealed a creativity for self-enrichment. But I never got the time to become familiar with this side of Jack because after dropping the casino bomb on all of us, Healey banked his plane into the clouds and disappeared. Or, as my friend Frank prefers, "went on the lam."

In fact, after his retirement gala, Healey sitings became rarer than red bellied cooters and were sources of much speculation and intrigue.

Until recently. Chatter places an increasingly visible Jack Healey at Town Hall these days. And, not long ago, the Board of Selectmen appointed him as their alternate liaison to SRPEDD because Mr. Spataro, the official liaison from the Board had such a poor record of making the meetings.

But this begs the question - why Jack Healey? Why do some people still seem to trust him to be Middleboro's go-to guy? It seems to me that the last thing Middleboro would want to do, especially in this economy, is to let Jack Healey stick his finger into any more pies.

Because remember, after dropping that casino bomb Jack crashed the plane then jettisoned the cockpit wearing a golden parachute.

Not only was his salary for his last year on the job $142,500, but he'll now collect a pension of $102,700 per year for the rest of his life and an additional $15,000 per year for health care - all courtesy of the good folks of Middleboro. Go shake his hand.

In that same Commonwealth Magazine article, Healey attempts to justify a casino:

...as 2007 began, Healey painted a dire picture of the state of affairs in Middleborough. Residents would have to pay higher property taxes or accept deep cuts in basic services. Police, firefighter, and teacher layoffs were certain. The town was on the ledge, ready to jump. As Healey told a regional section of the Boston Sunday Globe in January, “There are no more rabbits to pull out of the hat.”
Well, hadn't Healey killed a few of those 'wabbits' himself with his exorbitant pension? How many people do you know who have lifetime pensions? Pensions larger than most people's salaries? And hadn't he successfully dug Middleboro into a bigger rabbit hole by not fully considering the value of the land, or a mega casino's eventual costs and impacts to the town - issues which would have certainly become apparent with less attempts at secrecy and more public input.

So I ask you, does Middleboro really need more of Jack Healey and his peculiar and expensive form of influence? And will he really be protecting the town's interest at SRPEDD - or just sitting at the table quietly cooking up creative ways to parlay this new role into a private revenue stream? Isn't this assignment sort of like asking a former Enron executive to audit your company's books?

Hey here's a thought, there was a Mr. Cederholm on the Casino Resort Advisory Committee (CRAC) who he seemed to understand roads and highways and infrastructure. And I recall a Mr. Cassady, sitting behind me at the BIA hearings, who demonstrated more than a passing knowledge of the roadways around the casino project. And I am aquainted with a certain Mr. Solimini, a civic-minded engineer who has been involved with the regional commuter rail expansion meetings.

So, there you have three qualified, community-minded folks who might be able to fill Spataro's empty chair, and probably others too - none of whom who have personally soaked the town of Middleboro for millions of dollars.

But, if you just can't resist that silver tongue and those Hollywood good looks, you might just want to get out your checkbook now.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

THIMK


When I was a little kid one of my sisters had a paperweight on her desk with the word "THINK" on it - something you might expect to see on a paperweight, except, if you looked a little closer at the tall skinny close-together letters, you realized that it didn't spell "THINK" at all - it spelled "THIMK" - with an 'M'. Reminding anyone who bothered to take a closer look, that to truly "THINK" requires some effort.

Recently, if you've been looking closely, you'll notice blogs and blog posts by some of your favorite bloggers have been disappearing from blog rolls and replaced with 'selected' blog posts.

I refer to this is phenomenon as 'cherry picking' - meaning that someone is filtering out what they think you don't want to see, presumably sparing you the effort of clicking your mouse one or two more times or freeing you from reading something potentially off-topic.

I have been assured that this is being done in the name of relevance. Therefore, if a blog post isn't relevant to the casino issue, it will not show up.

But upon even closer inspection, you'll notice that my last blog post, Six Degrees of a Casino is missing - and that post is certainly relevant, don't you thimk? I mean, it even mentions the word 'casino' four times, including in the title, not to mention those hot button words 'Middleboro' and 'investors', and even includes an embeded video titled 'SixDegreesofaCasino'.

Now, I do the odd bit of web programming myself, and so I know that even a computer program designed to sniff out posts about Middleboro casino and filter out non-casino posts would have easily slapped a seal of approval on this one. And yet, despite the fact that this post spurred a discussion that would ultimately garner 32 comments, it somehow didn't pass someone's (or something's) smell test.

So how come Bumpkin's blog about blogs got through the censors? It also mentioned 'casino' four times - but never mentioned 'Middleboro' or 'investors' at all.

Now please don't go blaming Bumpkin, since he insists it's not him doing the cherry picking - it's that darn computer program. Which just brings me back to why my last post didn't show up.

Let me tell you where I'm coming from.

I blog about casinos. Mostly about the Middleboro casino, but I do venture out to the State and National arenas on occassion. I'm one of the original anti-casino bloggers. In fact, it was my idea to add blogs to the CasinoFacts.org web site - a concept I've defended against pro and anti-casino folks alike.

I blog solely about casinos, their impacts and the people who love them. Even when I blog about blogging, the posts are peppered with references to a casino. When I do offer a rare political opinion, it comes down to how I think that it might effect our chance of getting a casino in Middleboro. I've blogged for almost a year and a half. I've blogged when you've been listening and I've blogged when you weren't. It sometimes takes a week or more of work to produce a single blog post. I've rarely produced a blog in under four hours - and that's the writing component only - not the background research, video production, graphics, links, etc.

I am a founding member of CasinoFacts.org, the first member from a surrounding community, sat on the board of directors for a year, and am a current member of the Board of CasinoFreeMass. I've attended last summers selectman's meetings, pre-CRAC meetings, and still attend Regional Task Force meetings. I've gone around to different towns to discuss casinos. You might even say I have my finger on the pulse of the issue since I'm the one who compared Glenn Marshall to a date rapist a month before it was revealed that he was a convicted date rapist and who correctly predicted Mr. Bond would show up at a Mass Highway meeting to see if he could work a casino into it. I've spoken at the Massachusetts State House about casinos. And just last month my videos were played for a national audience at the Stop Predatory Gambling conference.

As for my Six Degrees of a Casino post, I'd spent an awful lot of time doing the research for that, even taking a trek down to the old Middleboro Library, in order to present the facts about an issue that has been discussed almost as long as I've been involved in fighting casinos.

So I guess my question is, if that one post, and even my entire blog isn't 'relevant' to fighting casinos, then what exactly is?

What I'm hoping is, that whatever screening device is being used to cherry pick my blog isn't wearing Bond goggles. I mean, I know there's some people in Middleboro who think we shouldn't be looking too closely at Bond... "we've got to heal the wounds"... "let's move on"... "focus on the investors not the small town guys"...etc.

But this is the thing - the anti-casino movement isn't only about Middleboro. It's never been. From that first meeting of CasinoFacts.org to the Regional Task Force on Casino Impacts, people from the surrounding communities have been involved. And people who live outside of Middleboro, folks who've had no vote and no voice in the matter of a casino, well they still deserve to know about the people who are promoting the casino project that will effect them even if it makes some folks in Middleboro uncomfortable.

So I really hope it's not that.

Bloggers, unlike reporters and columnists, don't make a salary. The payment for our work, for our tenacity, is readership. To know that people are hearing the message, the whole message, and that they're learning more, or thimking perhaps differently about something, and having conversations or taking action they might not otherwise.

Bloggers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders, philosophies, and poltical persuasions. And to me, the fact that we can all still agree on one thing - that we oppose a Middleboro casino - just makes the message stronger.

Blogging is, and has been, one of the most effective tools in the grassroots activists arsenal. Which is why Stop Predatory Gambling lists becoming a blogger as one the four best ways to take action.

My fellow bloggers and I, as well as our families, have paid a price for taking that action. My children have been dragged onto on-line forums and message boards, I've had to report a threat to the police, we've been threatened with lawsuits and liens, have been lied about, misrepresented and bullied. And everything in between. And it's taken a toll - apparently all so a person or some computer program to decide which of our posts is relevant.

Folks, if the motivation for bloggers to continue blogging is the knowledge that our blogs are being read and that they're making a difference, then where's the motivation to continue making the effort, taking the time, and putting ourselves and our familes through hell knowing that some of our hard work is going to end up on the cutting room floor?

Now, perhaps my recent blog post Six Degrees of a Casino was cherry picked into no man's land in error, and that the blog screening program, it's programmer, or possibly even an individual screener never had anything but good intentions. Which might explain why the road to hell is paved with them.

The calendar says it's currently 2008 - and in 2008 most people grasp the concept that a blog is an opinion piece and an on-going journal. News sites, community sites, political sites - blogs are everywhere, and they're not going away. It's time to stop worrying about what people might think and just let them think. People may indeed go to to a web site looking for certain information, but they click on blogs looking for something else, and can manage to do so with the tacit understanding that it neither guarantees relevance or implies endorsement.

The fact that most of my readers oppose a Middleboro casino is obvious proof that they don't need to ask the Wizard for a brain. And I for one trust them to be able to go a web site, click a link which takes them to the front page of my whole entire blog and be able to make their own decisions as to whether a post is relevant to them or not.

Thimk about it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Six Degrees of a Casino

Is he or isn't he? It's become a local parlor game.

Is NYC native and Middleboro selectman Adam Bond a casino industry plant, or simply the perfect storm of skills, ego, timing, and a certain je ne sais quoi that captivates some folks while repelling others?

Well, I know this might come as a surprise, but for the most part, I've tended toward the perfect storm camp. That being said, I've also been offered numerous compelling reasons to look into it. So I finally did.

Several hundred web sites and conversations later, I've distilled the bulk of what I've learned into this video. You decide.



Food for thought?

I'm not sure. As you can see, evidence linking Bond to a casino conspiracy is circumstantial at best - at least on paper. Though obviously, not all relationships and conversations are recorded - or public. Nor can I deny a certain number of little red flags which popped up here and there, which I don't mention.

So perhaps the question still remains. Or, perhaps for you, it's been answered. Or, maybe, the question itself is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Or not...

But one thing that has become clear having mulled the question over since last summer, and after everything I've learned reading publicly available information, is that the Michigan connection to off-reservation Indian Casinos - reservation shopping at it's most blatant - is not a myth.

Michigan investors have been, and are, willing to nurture these projects for a long time (the Port Huron ordeal is in it's 15th year), and to bully and intimidate anyone in their way, while the of price of influence has become just another cost of doing business.

Unfortunately, the willingness, even eagerness, to subvert the rights of local residents in towns and cities across this country, all in the name of green lighting land into trust is no longer a secret - or surprise - to us.

Nor is the determination of citizens from one coast of this counry to the other, to fight it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Everyone's Entitled to Their Opinion


From The National Indian Gaming web site's Indian Land Opinions page:

Indian tribes may only game on Indian lands that are eligible for gaming under the IGRA. Such lands must meet the definition of “Indian lands” at 25 U.S.C. § 2703, which requires that the land be within the limits of a tribe’s reservation, be held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the tribe or its member(s), or that the land be subject to restrictions against alienation by the United States for the benefit of the tribe or its member(s). Additionally, the tribe must have jurisdiction and exercise governmental powers over the gaming site.

The IGRA, 25 U.S.C. § 2719, contains a general prohibition against gaming on lands acquired into trust after October 17, 1988 (the date the IGRA was enacted into law). Tribes may game on such after-acquired trust land if the land meets one of the exceptions laid out in § 2719. Indian lands opinions are issued by either the Commission or the Department of the Interior, Division of Indian Affairs, Office of the Solicitor in accordance with their Memorandum of Agreement.

Click here to view the Indian lands advisory opinions issued by the NIGC and the Department of the Interior on whether a tribe may game on certain lands and the fact that the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe isn't on it.


ShareThis