Mass. Lawmakers Urged Not to Amend Casino Compact

By BOB SALSBERG, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Lawmakers reviewing a casino compact signed by Gov. Deval Patrick and representatives of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe have been urged not to make any changes in the agreement before voting.

State Rep. Robert Koczera, a New Bedford Democrat, said during a legislative hearing on the compact Monday that he would push for a two-year deadline for the tribe to put land in Taunton where it hopes to build the casino into federal trust.

A tribal official said such a deadline would be a “deal breaker.”

The governor’s chief-of-staff, Mo Cowan, said any amendments to the compact would require negotiations with the tribe to be reopened and jeopardize ratification by July 31.

Koczera said he only wanted to make sure that the southeastern Massachusetts region isn’t left out when it comes to casino development.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.