TAUNTON – The Mashpee hope to build a $500 million resort casino on 146 acres in East Taunton. The proposal passed a citywide referendum last June, although many in that section of the city adamantly opposed the plan, raising concerns of negative impacts on safety, infrastructure and quality of life.
The amount the Mashpee would pay out to charitable bingo operations would be dwarfed by other payments the tribe would make to the city in exchange for agreeing to host the casino. The intergovernmental agreement, ratified last year by the Taunton City Council and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council, calls for the tribe to pay Taunton approximately $33 million in upfront infrastructure mitigation funds and an additional annual payment of nearly $13 million. Included in the annual payment is 2.05 percent of slot machine revenue, or a minimum of $8 million.
The tribe is currently awaiting a decision from the Bureau of Indian Affairs as to whether the federal government will take land in trust for the tribe to establish a reservation for the purpose of building a casino.