Judge: Vineyard tribe needs local approval to open casino

BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a Native American tribe needs to secure local approvals before building a casino on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

U.S. District Court Judge Dennis Saylor ruled Wednesday the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe is not subject to state and local regulations concerning gambling, but needs to conform to state and local permitting requirements.

A tribe spokeswoman said Thursday she would comment later.

The tribe argues that U.S. law allows federally-recognized tribes to operate casinos on their sovereign reservation lands. The town of Aquinnah says it has the right to enforce certain health, safety and building regulations.

Work on the casino began in February after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a legal challenge from the state and town, but construction halted amid the legal dispute.