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Massachusetts gaming commission weighs opening SE region

Christopher Chappelear

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — The state gambling commission is hearing from advocates and opponents of extending an Indian tribe's exclusive right to develop a casino in southeastern Massachusetts.

The commission met Thursday at Bristol Community College in Fall River as it considers opening the region to commercial bidders.

The state's 2011 expanded gambling law created one casino license each for three geographic areas, with a federally-recognized Indian tribe getting preference in the southeastern region, assuming its plans are feasible.

The Mashpee Wampanoag are planning a $500 million resort casino in Taunton. On Thursday, tribal council chair Cedric Cromwell said the tribe is making historic progress and there's no reason to allow commercial bidders.

But others said a Supreme Court decision prevents the tribe from getting needed land, and a delay in allowing other bidders just delays revenues and jobs.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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