A local tribe called the Mashpee Wampanoag in Massachusets was finally given federal support with House Bill 312 (HB 312). According to this bill, the tribe will be given two pieces of land that it previously owned. The land will become recognized as sovereign territory of the tribe, and it is an act that many consider noble. This Native American tribe definitely deserved it, and their plan was to build a casino on it that would attract numerous visitors from the area.
However, it could all be in vain, as there is one major obstacle that they need to overcome in order to achieve their goals, and that is the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump. Trump has expressed his opinion on this and is set not to provide support for the Mashpee Wampanoag. In fact, he publicly claimed that the will put a veto on the bill as soon as it reaches the Resolute desk. Some would claim that the reason Donald Trump wants to do that is because the entire cause is supported by one of his major political opponents, Senator Elizabeth Warren. However, the problem is much larger than that.
The main problem with House Bill 312 is that it seeks to give an authorization for land given to a Native American tribe that is not listed in the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA). In other words, this tribe was not federally recognized back then, and this could present a major problem for them. The Mashpee Indians managed to receive their designation in 2007, but, according to the US Supreme Court, the federal government cannot allocate land to any Native American tribe that is not recognized by the Indian Reorganization Act.
However, the problem is that there are a lot of cases of exceptions being made in similar situations. In other words, governments managed to bend the rules numerous times, and these exceptions did not have any objections. Furthermore, the land that was planned to be allocated to the tribe is only 312 acres wide. Therefore, it seems like there is too much fuss going on about what seems to be a very minor case of concession.
So what made Trump so interested in (opposing) this case? The problem is that the tribe plans on building a casino that would feature 3,000 slots, 150 table games, and a total of three hotels. Their plan is to join forces with Genting Group in order to complete their casino.
Now, Trump has a lot of powerful friends, especially in the casino industry, and it is very likely that some of them actually persuaded the President not to support this cause. The word is on the street that one of the main people to affect Trump is actually Matt Schlapp, who is a lobbyist and a presidential advisor. Schlapp is also closely associated with Twin River Worldwide Holdings, which is a company that, among others, also operates the casinos located in Rhode Island. In fact, they are the sole operator of licensed casinos in this area, with Lincoln casino being one of them. Now, the problem here is that Lincoln is only a 40 minutes ride from the area which is supposed to be granted to the Indian tribe.
At the moment, Trump seems to have succeeded with his intentions as the Democrats in the House made a decision to postpone voting on the bill so as to come up with a different plan that would allow them to proceed with the bill.