Uncertain future for Genting Malaysia’s tribal casino

Genting Malaysia’s proposed First Light Resort & Casino (FLRC) may not proceed after the Mashpee Wampanoag (MW) tribe unexpectedly withdrew its request for Category 1 review, Malaysia’s The Star reports.

Maybank Investment Bank Research in a note on Thursday said it was uncertain if construction of the First Light Resort & Casino (FLRC) could proceed.

On Tuesday, the US Department of Interior (DOI) was due to issue a new Record-Of-Decisions (ROD) on whether it could hold Mashpee Wampanoag (MW) reservation land in trust under ‘Category 1’ – Tribe Federally Recognised before 1934.

The MW tribe however unexpectedly announced that it will withdraw its request for review under this category, said the analysts.

It is understood that Category 1 and Category 2 are the only ways for the Department of Interior (DOI) to hold reservation land in trust for a Native American tribe.

Maybank Research said given that the MW tribe withdrew its request for Category 1 review and its Category 2 review was previously challenged, “we gather that the MW tribe will have to wage long drawn legal battles to determine if construction of the FLRC can proceed”.

Genting’s venture in the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe’s First Light Resort & Casino (FLRC) started in April 2016.

Its investment included an expectation that it would manage the tribal casino for a period of seven years.

However, the construction of the Massachusetts-based casino was suspended last year due to reservation land issues.