Federal Judge Denies Tribe Motion to Join Casino Case

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The Vineyard Gazette is reporting that a federal judge has denied the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Aquinnah Gay Head Community Association and town of Aquinnah’s motion to intervene in developer KG Urban’s pending lawsuit.

KG Urban is challenging the provision in Massachusetts’s gaming legislation which provides for exclusivity of a tribal casino in the Southeast.  The developer argues that the law was preempted by the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”) and that it violates state and federal equal protection guarantees by allotting a “race-based set-aside” for tribal gaming.

In his decision today, Judge Gorton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts held that the Attorney General is already adequately representing the would-be interveners’ interest in the matter.  It remains to be seen whether the KG Urban suit is moot in light of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s decision in April to open up the Southeastern region to commercial casino bids despite the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s continued pursuit of its casino aspirations in that region.

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