Wampanoag tribe unveils details of casino plan
BOSTON (WHDH) -- The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has unveiled details of a proposed $500 million resort casino in Taunton.
The tribe announced Thursday it hopes to build the resort over a five-year period on 146 acres of land at the junction of Routes 24 and 140.
The plan calls for a 150,000 square foot casino, three hotels, 10 to 15 retail stores, an event center, a spa, and a family-oriented water park. The tribe estimates the complex would create more than 2,500 permanent jobs.
The casino would include 3,000 slot machines, 150 tables, and 40 poker tables.
Taunton's mayor said the town needs the casino to get back on the road to self-sustainability.
"The next six weeks may be the most important six weeks in the history of our city. We only get one shot at a project of this magnitude. Taunton badly needs a boost and this project can provide just that," said Mayor Thomas Hoye Jr.
The state's new casino law gives exclusive rights to a federally-recognized Indian tribe to develop a casino in southeastern Massachusetts if it can negotiate a compact with the state by July 31.
"That fact that we have land under control, we have design plans, it's all forward-moving that we're working on later to trust so I can say our process we're going through is exciting and it's working and we will be successful," said Cedric Cromwell, Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.
"The opinion is I think the referendum will probably pass. I think there's more favoritism -- it's more favorable that it will pass ," said Harold Rose.
The Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe is also seeking a casino but state officials have told the tribe it waived its right to gaming in the 1980s.
Taunton residents will vote in the beginning of June on whether a casino is a plan they want to go forward with.
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