Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has turned to Holland & Knight to help bring an Indian casino to his commonwealth, according to a lobbying registration report filed with Congress on Monday.
The governor hired the firm to secure U.S. Interior Department support for a resort casino that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe plans to build in Taunton. The department must approve a land-in-trust application and a gaming compact between Massachusetts and the tribe in order for the casino to go up.
The Interior Department is reviewing the land-in-trust application. But the department hasn't received the compact, which needs the approval of the Massachusetts state Legislature before the agency can get it. The state House endorsed the agreement last week. The state Senate is scheduled to vote on it Tuesday.
Holland & Knight partner Philip Baker-Shenk and associate Timothy Evans, who both are in the firm's Indian law practice group, are handling the account.
Jason Lefferts, a spokesman for the state's Office of Housing and Economic Development, said the firm was picked through a competitive bid process. Baker-Shenk didn't have an immediate comment.