Defeated earlier in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from introducing three major land casinos to his state, Governor Deval Patrick tried another approach to raise state revenues through gambling this week when he announced that he was ready to negotiate an agreement with the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe to pave the way for a casino.
Patrick told WBZ-TV that his administration is prepared to negotiate within existing law after House lawmakers killed his March proposal to license three land casinos in the state to help balance the budget.
At the time the tribe was expected to bid for one of those licenses, but tribal leaders had a back-up plan to seek authority for a casino under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in case the state effort failed.
Patrick said the state now plans to start negotiating a compact with the tribe over a resort casino on a 539-acre site in the southeastern Massachusetts town of Middleborough.
The same legal arrangement allowed the Foxwoods Casino to be built in Connecticut, earning that state 25 percent of the slot machine cash or more than $10 million each month.