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Ex-aide to Massachusetts governor joins firm's gaming group

Filed Under: Legislation | Regulation
More on: bia, deval patrick, land-into-trust, law firms, massachusetts, wampanoag
   
A former aide to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) who worked on gaming issues is representing a client that wants to open a commercial casino, The Cape Cod Times reports.

E. Abim Thomas served as deputy chief legal counsel for Patrick up until September. She worked on H.3702, which sets aside a casino in the southeastern part of the state for "a federally recognized tribe," and helped negotiate a Class III gaming compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe for the intended casino.

But now that she's joined the gaming group at Goodwin Procter, she is arguing that the tribe hasn't met a deadline in the law for the compact because the Bureau of Indian Affairs rejected the agreement. She's representing an unidentified client that wants to compete for the casino in the region that was aside for the tribe.

"If the July 31 deadline was not met, then the commission is obligated under the Expanded Gaming Act to request applications for a commercial license in Region C," Thomas wrote in a letter to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the Times reported.

Patrick has said he will negotiate a new compact with the tribe, whose land-into-trust application also awaits approval. But the commission said it will entertain opening bids for the casino in the event the tribe doesn't move forward.

Get the Story:
Governor's former casino expert at odds with tribe (The Cape Cod Times 12/15

Related Stories:
Opinion: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe wrong on casino outlook (12/14)

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