• 'Step forward' in Mass. tribe's casino bid


    BOSTON (AP) — A Native American tribe hoping to develop a resort casino in southeastern Massachusetts has received a favorable opinion on their land bid from the federal government.

    The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Interior, in a preliminary advisory opinion, said the land where the casino has been proposed in Taunton qualifies as an "initial reservation," as does land in Mashpee, where the tribe is headquartered.

    Tribal chairman Cedric Cromwell called the decision a "huge step forward" in the Mashpee's casino bid. But the tribe still needs final federal approval to put the land into trust, and must cross other hurdles before a casino can be built.

    The tribe has claimed that it has strong historical ties to the land in Taunton, about 40 miles from Mashpee.

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