Around New England

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Making Steep Budget Cuts As Casino Project Stalls

The Malaysian company backing the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s bid to build a $1 billion casino in Taunton is dialing back the amount it will lend the tribe, leading to a 50 percent budget cut for the coming fiscal year.

The Cape Cod tribe is expecting a loan of $5.4 million for the coming fiscal year, which is 45 percent of what it received for the current fiscal year ($11,944,567), according to the Cape Cod Times.

Deep cuts in tribal salaries are expected, and the tribe has recently laid off 31 of its previous 100 employees, reports the Cape Cod Times, citing an anonymous source.

Neighbors of the proposed casino site in Taunton have sued to try to prevent it from being built, and there are uncertainties about how the court case will be resolved and also how the federal government will handle regulation of the tribe.

“Critics within the tribe have repeatedly raised questions about the rising debt associated with planning and building the casino, and have criticized tribal leaders for taking home what they believe to be excessive paychecks,” the story in the Cape Cod Times states.