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Metro

Wampanoag turn up pressure on gambling panel

Want state commission to keep freeze on commercial casino projects in area

The Mashpee Wampanoag are going on the offensive against the state gambling commission, with a hard-edged public campaign to pressure the commission to maintain a freeze on commercial casino developments in Southeastern Massachusetts, where the ­Mashpee intend to build a tribal casino.

The tribe is attacking the commission as unaccountable in a television advertisement and is accusing the five-member panel of a “lack of transparency” ahead of a critical Thursday vote on the fate of casino gambling in Southeastern Massachusetts. The tribe has suggested it will sue if the commission lifts the freeze and opens the southeast to commercial gambling companies. “We’re going to do everything in our power to protect and respect . . . our rights as a federal sovereign nation,” Mashpee Wampanoag chairman Cedric Cromwell, said in an interview. “We will do that.”

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