A Native American tribe says it will open a casino this year just down the road from President Obama’s vacation town in Martha’s Vineyard, potentially drawing an influx of small-bet gamblers to the exclusive resort area favored by the president and his wealthy friends and allies.
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head plans to establish a preliminary gaming within months in the town of Aquinnah – one of the island’s toniest areas. Aquinnah sits just a few miles from Chilmark, the town where the president has stayed the past few years.
The tribe says it has a legal opinion from the National Indian Gaming Commission, a federal agency, that it can to build a Class II gambling facility, which allows bingo, poker and slots. The Wampanoag are hoping to get a Class III permit that would allow them to add roulette wheels and blackjack tables.
But for the pampered summer sojourners on Martha’s Vineyard, either Class will be viewed as low-class.
The tribe’s initial temporary gambling parlor will include hundred of slot machines. It will eventually be replaced by a permanent casino.
Both the state of Massachusetts – including Obama friend Gov. Deval Patrick – and local governments oppose the casino.