Gov. Deval Patrick isn’t likely to begin negotiating a casino deal with the Mashpee Wampanoags, as the tribe’s new chairman hopes, a UMass gambling researcher said.
Gov. Deval Patrick isn’t likely to begin negotiating a casino deal with the Mashpee Wampanoags, as the tribe’s new chairman hopes, a UMass gambling researcher said Tuesday.
Cedric Cromwell, who was elected tribal chairman last week, plans to ask the governor to begin compact negotiations that would help pave the way for a casino in Middleboro, according to published reports. Cromwell did not return messages seeking comment Tuesday.
Last fall, though, Patrick shot down a request by Cromwell’s predecessor for negotiations. The governor said he wouldn’t open formal talks because the tribe didn’t have land in Middleboro in a federal trust.
Today, the tribe is still waiting for a land-into-trust decision from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Clyde Barrow of a UMass-Dartmouth doubts Patrick’s stance has changed.
“I don’t think there’s any incentive for the governor to negotiate,” Barrow said.
Patrick is hoping the tribe will open a commercial — not tribal — casino off Route 44 in Middleboro, and negotiating with the tribe would weaken his position, Barrow said.
A spokeswoman for Patrick’s economic development office, Kofi Jones, declined to comment on how the governor might react to a request for negotiations from the tribe.
Kyle Alspach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.