BIA Blazes Bold Path In Mashpee Casino Site Ruling

By Andrew Westney (October 6, 2015, 1:07 PM EDT) -- A recent decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to take land into trust for a Massachusetts tribe's planned $500 million casino project highlights the agency's inventiveness in working around restrictions on such acquisitions and lays out a novel approach the agency looks ready to defend, experts say.

The agency approved the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's request to have tribe-owned land in Mashpee and Taunton, Massachusetts, taken into trust for its First Light Casino project on Sept. 18, determining that the tribe could pursue gaming in Taunton because the lands comprised its "initial reservation" under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act following the...

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