The Massachusetts city of Revere isn’t going down without a fight after seeing its casino bid with Mohegan Sun lose out to Wynn Resorts for the lone Boston-area casino license. Revere has filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for allegedly violating the law when it confirmed Wynn’s plan to build a casino in Everett as the winner last month.
The City of Revere accuses the commission of giving Wynn Resorts preferential treatment during the application proceedings and said commissioners attended secret meetings during breaks in their public deliberations to discuss the proposals, which is a violation of the state’s Open Meeting Law.
The 49-page lawsuit was jointly filed by the City of Revere and Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The latter represents workers at Suffolk Downs, whose jobs were lost when the 79-year-old financially struggling track announced that it was closing down after the Mohegan Sun bid – which was to be built on property adjacent to the track – was rejected.
“The commission knew that granting the Wynn application would likely result in the closing of Suffolk Downs and the loss of significant racing jobs,” the lawsuit stated, as quoted by the Boston Globe. “Yet the commission did not weigh this factor against Wynn.”
The lawsuit also pointed to potential problems involving Wynn’s casino proposal, most notably the Everett land on which the operator plans to build its casino proposal. Since winning the license, three men have been indicted for allegedly hiding the fact that a convicted felon owned a stake in the land.
“There are a number of troubling and alarming failures by the gaming commission that raise serious questions about the entire process of awarding the [Greater Boston] license,” Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo said in a statement. “From inequity in the process, to a failure to require adequate community mitigation, to ignoring potential criminal activity associated with the Everett land, the commission has in almost every regard failed to live up to its obligations under the Gaming Act.”
Gambling Commission Spokesman Hank Shafran stopped short of accusing the City of Revere of suffering from a severe case of sour grapes. “We have seen that intense disappointment express itself in a number of ways, including legal action and even false accusations of bias against the commission,” Shafran said. “This latest effort is yet another manifestation of disappointment from invested parties after a lengthy evaluation and public deliberation process that was based solely on the merits of competing proposals.”