Taunton: Voters overwhelmingly approve nonbinding casino referendum

There was a high voter turnout in Taunton on Saturday, with residents paving the way for a casino to come to town.

The nonbinding referendum garnered 7,693 votes for and 4,571 against the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s proposal to build a resort casino.

Mayor Thomas Hoye calls it a “fantastic opportunity” for the city, the state, and the tribe.

Many of the Taunton residents against the idea say they don’t like the proposed location near East Taunton Elementary School and Christ Community Church.

The tribe has acquired an option to buy 146 acres, and isn’t ruling out the possibility of purchasing additional land, including the nearby Silver City Galleria Mall.

Before being allowed to build a casino, the Mashpee Wompanoags are required to negotiate a compact with the governor, which would need legislative approval, and then get a trust lands application approved by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Voters in Lakeville and Freetown recently rejected a casino proposal put forth by the Aquinnah Wampanoags.

About Garo Hagopian

Garo Hagopian has been a member of the WATD family as a weekend news anchor since 2008, and has been a writer-producer-editor at WBZ in Boston since 1996.