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Legislature Approves Casino Compact for Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

On Thursday, the Legislature approved a casino compact that was approved last week by the Senate. It now heads to the Governor's desk.

The Massachusetts Legislature has approved a casino compact signed by Gov. Deval Patrick and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, reports the Associated Press.

The compact, which promises the state 21.5 percent of gaming revenues if the tribe succeeds in developing a resort casino in Taunton, now heads to Patrick's desk.

The Senate voted 27-to-9 on Thursday in favor of the compact approved last week by the House, and each chamber has given its final procedural approval.

Some southeastern Massachusetts lawmakers had pushed for a compact deadline by which the tribe must earn federal approval to place the land into trust, saying the region could fall behind in casino development if the process drags on too long.

The tribe has released an environmental report showing the proposed casino would generate nearly $512 million in annual revenue.

"This is an important milestone and a good deal for both the Commonwealth and the Tribe," Patrick said in a statement Thursday night. "Now we turn our attention to the federal government and final approval of the Compact and the Tribe's land in trust application."

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