A proposed tribal casino in the United States – a venue that was due to be run by Asian gaming firm Genting Malaysia Bhd – should get another chance, argue federal authorities.
On Wednesday, the Boston Globe newspaper reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was appealing against a U.S. District Court ruling that halted efforts by the Mashpee Wampanoag – a Native American tribe – to open a US$1-billion gaming venue called First Light Resort and Casino (pictured in an artist’s rendering), in Taunton, a settlement 64 kilometres (40 miles) south of Boston, Massachusetts.
In July, Judge William G. Young ruled the federal government was mistaken last year when it approved a Mashpee reservation in Taunton. This was on the basis that the tribe was not formally recognised by the federal government at the time of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act.
The newspaper said the DOJ’s motion argued the judge was wrong to equate “federal recognition” with “federal jurisdiction,” and asked him to send the matter back to the Department of the Interior (DOI) for further consideration.
Under U.S. federal law, tribes are entitled to run casinos on their respective reservations.
The news outlet further reported the tribe had asked for permission to become a party to the lawsuit, which was brought by some Taunton property owners opposed to the casino.
If the tribe were given that right, it would be able to appeal the judge’s earlier ruling, even if the DOI drops that matter, said the newspaper.
Genting Malaysia runs Resorts World Genting, Malaysia’s only casino resort, and operates casinos in the United States, the Bahamas and the United Kingdom.
In other developments, the Associated Press reported on August 19 – citing information provided by U.S.-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission – that the planned US$2.1-billion Wynn Everett casino resort near Boston would open in June 2019.
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