The Aquinnah tribe on Friday asked a federal judge to reconsider his decision to reject its bid to build a gambling hall on tribal land.
In its motion, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) argued that U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor 4th should take note of new developments, including those involving two Texas tribes in situations similar to the tribe on Martha’s Vineyard.
Attorneys for the tribe are seeking oral arguments before the judge.
Judge Saylor ruled Nov. 13 that the tribe does not exert sufficient governmental power over its land to qualify under the Indian Gaming Rights Act for a class II gambling facility, which features electronic bingo.
In addition, the judge found that even if the tribe qualified under IGRA, the 1988 law would not invalidate gambling restrictions in a land claims settlement agreement approved by the tribe in 1983 and ratified as law by the commonwealth and federal government 1987. The settlement ended a nine-year-old lawsuit brought by the tribe against the town and gave the tribe land in Gay Head (today Aquinnah), but also required compliance with state and local laws, including prohibitions on gambling.