Wampanoags hope to open casino in Taunton
TAUNTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe announced that it wants to build a resort-style casino off Route 24 in Taunton.
“This is the beginning of many conversations to bring a world class -- the best in class -- destination resort casino to the city of Taunton,” said Tribal Chair Cedric Cromwell of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.
The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe started its initial steps to bring a $500 million resort casino to the area.
“It’s great. Number one as far as infrastructure, location, proximity,” said Cromwell.
Over the years the tribe has shopped around the casino possibility in at least two other communities, leaving places like Middleboro and Fall River disappointed.
“We’re working through things at this time, but again the focus is the project in Taunton and we’re really excited about moving forward,” said Cromwell.
The mayor of Taunton says much needs to be worked out, but he’s hopeful a resort casino could mean jobs.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that this proposal will work here,” said Mayor Thomas Hoye Jr. of Taunton.
A new state law allows for three casinos in Massachusetts with the Indian tribes getting first dibs at negotiating for a site in southeastern Massachusetts. Depending on where a tribal casino is built, it could impact a casino being built in a place like Foxborough.
Despite failed attempts, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is hopeful.
“Making it happen [in Taunton] will be exciting for all of southeastern Massachusetts,” said Cromwell.
Wednesday’s announcement was just the first step. People in Taunton still get to vote if they want a casino in their community. The tribe must also negotiate with the state.
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