Moves have been made in the United States to unseat several leaders of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe over the checked attempt to develop a tribal casino in partnership with international casino investor Genting Malaysia Bhd.
Local media outlet the Cape Code Times in Massachusetts reported that on Wednesday two petitions had been filed to the tribe’s election committee to recall tribal council chairman Cedric Cromwell and vice chairwoman Jessie “Little Doe” Baird, citing the fact that hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars were owed to Genting Malaysia.
In March 2016 the tribe had announced that a unit of Genting Malaysia would run a US$1-billion casino (pictured in an artist’s rendering) the tribe planned to build on land at Taunton, a place located approximately 64.4 kilometres (40 miles) south of Boston, Massachusetts.
Genting Malaysia had said in April that year that it was not putting equity in the scheme, but was instead investing in interest-bearing promissory notes issued by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Gaming Authority.
But in September 2018 the U.S. federal government decided the Mashpee Wampanoag could not hold in trust the land for the proposed casino, an arrangement that would otherwise have allowed the tribe to build the facility and reap the economic benefits.
That same month, Japanese brokerage Nomura said in a note that Genting Malaysia had invested as of that date about US$400 million cumulatively in the tribe’s promissory notes.
The company confirmed to Bursa Malaysia in its 2018 annual results filed in February that it had recorded an impairment loss of MYR1.83 billion (US$440 million) on the group’s investment in the promissory notes issued by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.
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