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Putting the brakes on tribe’s casino bid

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As Mashpee wage casino effort, Brockton bid should be reconsidered

In support of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s ongoing efforts for reservation status, the Globe editorial board overlooked the negative impact on the City of Brockton. Written with good intentions, the Sept. 16 editorial “Mass. delegation must step up for tribe” missed some important details.

In 2011, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law An Act Establishing Expanded Gaming in the Commonwealth. In response to the drain of Massachusetts gaming revenue to Connecticut casinos, this legislation was designed to provide benefits to Massachusetts by creating jobs and encouraging economic development. After the passage of this legislation, the Mashpee tribe and their Malaysian casino partner, Genting, were encouraged to forgo a tribal casino and instead apply for the Region C commercial casino license.

Instead, the tribe chose to pursue a tribal casino and save considerably on tax payments to Massachusetts.

It’s in Massachusetts’ interest to advocate for a Class C casino in Brockton. Brockton, a predominantly minority community, is fighting for economic redevelopment. Building a casino would provide immediate impact on the city’s economy, bringing in a potential $60 million a year while creating 2,000 permanent jobs. Delay in building a Class C casino in Brockton would put Massachusetts at a competitive disadvantage as we lose gaming revenue to our neighbors in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

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It’s time for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to reopen Brockton’s request for a commercial casino license.

State Senator Michael D. Brady

Brockton

We shouldn’t rush to do an end run around a Supreme Court ruling

Read in isolation, your editorial “Mass. delegation must step up for tribe” presents a one-sided view of a way to do what is “morally right” for the Mashpee tribe, in their bid to have land taken for a casino in Taunton. But you never mentioned recent court decisions that cannot be glossed over under any condition.

In Carcieri v. Salazar the Supreme Court held that land could not be taken into trust for tribes that were not federally recognized prior to 1934. Because of that, US District Judge William Young held in 2016 that the Department of the Interior did not have legal authority to take the land in trust.

How can you advocate doing what is “morally right” by passing a bill that would, even in your words, provide “a way around the latest setback”? Since when is a law that ignores the Supreme Court the right path?

Mary McCaffrey

East Taunton

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