250m at stake in tribe's gamble - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

FOUR hundred years after welcoming the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth Rock, the native American Seconke Wampanoag tribe is proving less hospitable to the British.

Chief Wilfred 'Eagle Heart' Greene is threatening to derail the planned ??230m sale of gaming company Wembley's money-spinning Rhode Island complex to South African tycoon Sol Kerzner.

Greene has written to Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri giving notice that he will launch a legal challenge to ownership of the land occupied by Wembley's Lincoln Park dog track and casino because a 1646 land treaty was 'fraudulent' and not signed by the tribal chief of the day.

Wembley said it was aware of the Wampanoag claim, but could not speculate on what effect it might have on the track and the agreement of sale to BLB, an investment group that includes Kerzner and American investment firm Starwood Capital. While Carcieri and legal experts doubt that the Wampanoags will prevail, a lawsuit could take years to make its way through American courts and hinder the sale of Lincoln Park, whose 2,543 slot machines take $5.8 million (??3.1 million) a week before taxes.

If the original deed was invalid, then the racetrack is on land that belongs to the Wampanoags.

While the tribe went down in history as the one that welcomed the Pilgrims arriving in 1620, they have not always been so welcoming - they led one of the bloodiest wars against white settlers 45 years later.

Lincoln Park and two former executives, Daniel Bucci and Nigel Potter, are due back in court in Rhode Island on April 26 for a retrial on charges that they conspired to bribe the former Speaker of the State House to win approval for installing more slot machines at Lincoln Park.

An earlier jury trial acquitted them of five charges and deadlocked on 20 others.

Other news from around the same time

China reports 10,000 arrests in gambling crackdown - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

Police carrying out a nationwide anti-gambling crackdown have arrested more than 10,000 people and c....


The last spin of the wheel - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

The future of the gambling bill will be decided this week - and Michael Howard may hold all the chip....


Hands across the ocean - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

Philosopher and poker obsessive Nicholas Fearn sails off on a cruise with Europe's most fe....


Gambler says Borgata took him on limo ride back to debt - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

Four years ago, Donald Carroll asked state regulators to prohibit Atlantic City's casinos from givin....


A look at Illinois' nine riverboat casinos - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

Illinois law allows 10 riverboat casinos in the state. One casino license has been tied up in a disp....


Cost of Las Vegas jaunt jumps 11 percent in year - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

A Vegas vacation isn't as cheap as it used to be.Not only are gasoline prices at record highs, the p....


Station Casinos quiet about Reno land - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

Station Casinos Inc., often blamed for hurting Northern Nevada gaming revenue with a tribal casino j....


Bigger Stadium & Casino Bid - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

Plans to extend the KC Stadium's capacity to 35,000 and to develop a new hotel and leisure complex o....


Casino boat arrives but no plans on use - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

The owners of the Corinthian are currently deliberating whether or not to go ahead with plans to use....


Casino chips worth P20M lost - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

An estimated P20-million worth of casino chips are missing from several branches of Casino Filipino,....