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Mass. Finalizes Casino Compact With Mashpee Wampanoags

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A sketch of the proposed casino in Taunton. (Courtesy: Mashpee Wampanoags)

A sketch of the proposed casino in Taunton. (Courtesy: Mashpee Wampanoags)

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BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has formally signed a compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, allowing them exclusive rights to develop a resort casino in southeastern Massachusetts.

Joined by tribal leaders, Patrick signed the agreement, which was ratified by the Legislature, in a short ceremony Monday afternoon.

The agreement calls for the Mashpee to return 21.5 percent of future gaming revenues to Massachusetts, the highest figure ever negotiated between a state and Native American tribe.

Patrick said the compact reflects a collaborative relationship between his administration and the tribe.

The U.S. Department of the Interior must approve the compact and the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ must give its permission to place the land into federal trust, before the tribe can move forward with a proposed $500 million casino in Taunton.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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