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Lawsuit challenges new Mass. casino law

November 22, 2011
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BOSTON—Massachusetts' new casino gambling law is already drawing a lawsuit.

The firm KG Urban Enterprises says in a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday that the law violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution because it gives federally recognized Indian tribes preference in seeking a casino license in southeastern Massachusetts.

At least two such tribes, including the Mashpee Wampanoag, have expressed interest in opening a casino in New Bedford.

State lawmakers have said the provision in the bill, signed into law on Tuesday, is meant to recognize the tribes' federal right to open a casino.

A call to the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe was not immediately returned.

The new law authorizes a gambling commission to award up to three casino licenses, one in each of three geographic regions of the state.

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