On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor denied a request by the (Aquinnah) Wampanoag tribe of Gay Head to reconsider his ruling that they may not open and operate a casino on the island near Boston, Massachusetts. The ruling came in a single sentence after years of legal wrangling. The tribe will likely appeal.
The judge wrote in his ruling, “After careful consideration and review, the motion of defendants and counterclaim-plaintiffs for reconsideration is denied,” the decision said.
The tribe had planned to convert an unfinished community center into a slots casino, consistent with opinions from federal agencies and regulators that they were entitled to offer gaming on the island.
The tribe, through lawyer Scott Crowell had filed a motion on December 11 citing what were seen as several material errors in the judge’s November decision stating that the tribe had given up their rights to be free of local zoning laws in a previous agreement. The case has parallels to a recent ruling in Texas that found that state laws do not trump federal law in such instances. Judge Saylor contends, that at least in this case, they do.