Appeals court hears arguments in Aquinnah gaming case

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4:37 pm EDT, Tuesday, September 15, 2020

BOSTON, Mass. (AP) — The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head and the town of Aquinnah have presented arguments to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals for the tribe’s planned bingo hall.

The tribe is trying to build the bingo hall on the western end of Martha’s Vineyard under the Indian Gaming Rights Act and argued Monday that it should not be subject to local and state zoning and building regulations, the Cape Cod Times reported.

The bingo hall is planned to be a 10,000 square-foot facility with 250 electronic gaming machines, a bar, an outdoor seating area and a mobile food vendor area.

Aquinnah, Massachusetts, and a local taxpayers group have contested the tribe’s plan and contends that, per a lower court decision, the tribe must secure permits for the project.

U.S. District Court Judge Dennis Saylor found in 2019 that the state and town can’t impose gaming laws on the tribe, however, the tribe must comply with construction and operation regulations.

Scott David Crowell, the tribe’s attorney, argued that the decision allowed the town to indirectly block the construction of the gaming facility.

“This opinion, if allowed to stand, allows the …

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