Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Unveils $500M Taunton Casino Plan

An artist's rendering of the proposed Mashpee Wampanoag casino in Taunton (Courtesy)
An artist's rendering of the proposed Mashpee Wampanoag casino in Taunton (Courtesy)

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe today unveiled plans for a $500 million casino complex in Taunton, complete with three hotels, high-end retail shops and a water park.

The tribe says the proposed casino, which would take five years to build, would employ 1,000 people during construction and create an estimated 2,500 permanent jobs. All told, the tribe says that the destination casino at the intersection of routes 24 and 140 would provide $120 million annually to Taunton.

“The jobs and direct economic impact from this project will have a meaningful positive effect on thousands of local families," Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Cedric Cromwell said in a statement. "The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the City of Taunton are working together with common goals: creating jobs and providing a better quality of life for our citizens.”

According to The Cape Cod Times, at a press conference today the city's mayor, Thomas Hoye Jr., said "Taunton badly needs a boost and this project provides just that."

Significant hurdles still remain for the tribal casino proposal, however: The tribe must quickly negotiate a compact with Gov. Deval Patrick to maintain its preferred status for a state license, and the federal government must take the development land into trust for the tribe.The Boston Globe adds:

Over the past several years, the Mashpee Wampanoag have made similar announcements with much fanfare in other communities, dating back to the tribe’s 2007 agreement with the town of Middleborough to develop a casino in that community. Those plans were later abandoned. Plans for a casino in Fall River also fell through.

This program aired on April 26, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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