Voters in Mass. city say 'yes' to tribal casino
TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) -- The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe won a vote of confidence from Taunton residents for plans to develop a $500 million resort casino in southeastern Massachusetts.
Saturday's referendum is nonbinding, but marks the first time local residents have expressed support for a casino project at the ballot box since Gov. Deval Patrick signed the state's new gambling law last year.
The law allows the state to license up to three resort-style casinos and gives exclusive rights to a federally recognized Indian tribe to develop one of the casinos if the tribe can reach a compact with the state by July 31. That casino would have to be in southeastern Massachusetts.
Patrick says he thinks negotiations can be completed by the July deadline.
Voters in Freetown and Lakeville previously rebuffed casino proposals.