Mashpee Tribe Plans April Groundbreaking for Taunton Casino

An artist’s rendering of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s proposed $500 million casino in Taunton. The tribe hopes to secure the state’s sole casino license for the Southeast Region. (Photo courtesy of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe)

An artist’s rendering of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s proposed $500 million casino in Taunton.

MASHPEE – The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has planned an April groundbreaking for their resort casino in Taunton.

The tribe announced Monday it has picked three firms to start demolition and site work for the casino on April 5.

The Wampanoag and the Malaysia-based Genting Group are developing the $500 million casino at an industrial park in Taunton.

The firms contracted by the tribe to begin pre-construction work are Dimeo Construction Company, The Penta Building Group, and Talako Construction, LLC.

“We have a Compact with the state, support from the city of Taunton, and our reservation land in Taunton. We are now ready to move quickly in the construction of a world-class destination resort, which will provide a much needed boost to the regional economy and help secure a more prosperous future for our Tribe – the People of the First Light,” said Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell in a prepared statement.

In January, the federal government officially designated the tribe’s 150 acres in Taunton and another 170 acres in Mashpee as reservation lands.

The three firms selected to jointly oversee the demolition and site work for First Light Resort & Casino are known in the gaming industry.

Dimeo Construction oversaw the construction of the Twin River Casino in Rhode Island. The Penta Building Group has led numerous gaming projects in Las Vegas and elsewhere, while Talako Construction worked on several projects in the Southeast.

The Tribe has already developed a building code ordinance and put a building code enforcement team in place to oversee inspections of the development.

Cromwell said the tribe is moving quickly on the casino to secure its financial future.

“The firms we have engaged are recognized leaders in the industry and an indication of the type of facility we intend to build,” Cromwell said. “We look forward to updating the state Gaming Commission on our plans next week.”

The state gaming commission will hold a meeting at the tribe’s government headquarters in Mashpee on March 15.

State regulators are still weighing the possibility of awarding a gambling license to a rival casino project in nearby Brockton later this month.

The tribe has urged the commission to reject that plan, saying the state law allowing casino gambling specifically reserved Southeastern Massachusetts for a federally recognized Native American tribe.

By MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com News Director, with material from The Associated Press

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