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 kalspach@enterprisenews.com.