By BOB SALSBERG, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick says he is close to finalizing a new casino compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe but plans to run it by federal officials before submitting it for final approval.
The governor is trying to avoid a repeat of last year’s event, when an agreement he signed with the tribe was approved by the Legislature, only to be rejected later by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Patrick told reporters on Tuesday he hoped to complete negotiations with the Mashpee by the end of this week or early next week. His administration would then seek “preliminary feedback” from the bureau on the major elements of the compact.
The tribe has proposed a $500 million resort casino in Taunton.
The state’s 2011 casino law gives preference to a federally-recognized Indian tribe in the southeastern region.