BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick is suing to block the Martha’s Vineyard-based Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe from opening a small casino on the island.
Patrick on Monday filed a lawsuit (PDF) with the Supreme Judicial Court arguing that the Aquinnah ceded gambling rights in a 1983 settlement that secured tribal lands on the island.
The tribe has disputed that interpretation of the agreement.
Tribal leaders last month said they had gained federal approval to build a gambling facility that could offer high-stakes electronic bingo or poker games and some types of slot machines.
The tribe said it planned to move ahead with converting an unfinished community center into a casino.
Leaders of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe on Cape Cod are also hoping to open a casino, in Taunton.
Patrick has signed a revised casino compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.