Wednesday, November 23, 2011 : The fight is not over yet, says KG Urban
The ink had hardly dried on Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick's signing into law of the new state land gambling bill this week when the first legal action against it was filed.
The bill has had a protracted and tortuous progress through the state Legislature, with many amendments and serious political wrangling for over a year before it was finally passed last week, authorising a state gambling commission to award up to three land casino licenses, one in each of three geographic regions of the state.
The litigation challenging the bill was filed by KG Urban Enterprises, which claims in its federal court lawsuit that the new law violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution because it gives federally recognised Indian tribes preference in seeking a casino license in southeastern Massachusetts.
At least two such tribes, including the Mashpee Wampanoag, have expressed interest in opening a casino in New Bedford, according to reports from Associated Press.
State lawmakers are on record as saying that provisions in the bill, signed into law by the state governor on Tuesday, are meant to recognise the tribes' federal right to open a casino.