TAUNTON (AP) — The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has entered into an option to buy land in Taunton on which it intends to build a resort casino.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Karen Twomey reports.
The announcement Wednesday “is a tangible step toward our goal of economic self-sufficiency,” tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell said in a statement on the tribal website.
Tribal leaders will now enter in negotiations with the city, he said.
The tract of land is along Route 24.
WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports.
The tribe intends to build a destination casino, including hotels, fine and casual dining, entertainment space and other amenities, Cromwell said.
Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye said there is a long way to go before construction starts and voters will have the final say in a city-wide referendum.
“In addition to the thousands of good jobs a development like this will bring, it will also mean millions of dollars in revenue to address our priorities here in Taunton,” he said, including improved schools and public safety.
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The tribe must also negotiate with the state. It has exclusive rights until July 31 to reach an agreement on a casino in southeastern Massachusetts.
Previous tribal efforts to build a casino in Middleborough and Fall River have fallen through.
Gov. Deval Patrick signed a law in November authorizing up to three resort casinos and one slots parlor in different geographical areas of the state.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.