Boston steps up casino challenge

By Tom Lewis
The city of Boston has begun issuing subpoenas in its lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The two parties have been embroiled in a dispute since January concerning the Commission’s decision to grant casino mogul Steve Wynn the sole Eastern Massachusetts casino licence.

Lawyers representing the city of Boston have alleged that the Gaming Commission bent the rules in awarding the rights to the Everett, Massachusetts site in order to ensure the success of the Wynn bid.

The subpoenas issued request that witnesses come forward to provide depositions and relevant documents.

The Hard Rock Cafe has been the subject of one of the subpoenas, report the Boston Globe.

The global restaurant chain had signed an agreement to purchase the land before backing out of the deal in late 2012.

City lawyers have alleged state police gave private detectives acting for Wynn Resorts access to information pertaining to an ongoing criminal investigation, which if true could seriously jeopardise the company’s plans to build a casino resort in Everett.

Boston has asked a judge to revoke the Eastern Massachusetts casino licence and bar the Gaming Commission from taking any further action on the matter.

Spokesman for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Elaine Driscoll said of the subpoenas: “(This is) a continuation of the city’s costly legal strategy to litigate meritless claims in the press.

“The Commission will continue to address these claims in the appropriate legal forum as we have consistently done.”

Wynn’s plans to build a resort and casino in Everett, near Boston have run into repeated problems after seeing off the challenge of a local project backed by Mohegan Sun at Suffolk Downs to be awarded the licence last September.

Revere, the company behind the Mohegan Sun bid, sued the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in December 2014 based on a variety of allegations including a violation of state gaming law relating to the proposed site’s property ownership.

The city of Boston also tried to sue the Commission in January in an attempt to derail the construction of the Wynn Resorts casino.

Furthermore, state officials refused to issue a permit for land nearby the Everett site, purchased by Wynn for site access last April.
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