Massachusetts Gaming Commission wants judge to dismiss Boston's lawsuit against Wynn casino

Industries Associated Press

State gambling regulators want a judge to dismiss Boston's lawsuit challenging the award of a casino license to casino operator Wynn, saying the decision is not subject to judicial review and the city's challenge comes too late.

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In a filing provided to The Associated Press, the state Gaming Commission notes that the state's casino gambling law allows the courts to review certain gambling matters but not the licensing process.

The commission also notes that Boston filed its lawsuit on Jan. 5, missing "by several months" the deadlines for challenging decisions leading up to Wynn's Sept. 17, 2014, license award.

And even if Boston could challenge the license award, the commission said, the city lacks standing because the casino project is outside city limits in Everett.

"Under the circumstances here, to grant Boston standing to block the construction of a casino in a different city would eviscerate the Commission's 'full discretion'," the state argues.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh's administration, which didn't immediately comment Monday, has argued that Boston should be considered a host city like Everett because the main entry into the casino property is through a road that originates in Boston.

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Boston wants Wynn's license invalidated and commissioners involved in the decision disqualified from future decisions regarding the Boston-area casino license because, it says, there were numerous violations that compromised the multi-year competition.

Wynn proposes a $1.7 billion resort casino complex for the industrial waterfront that overlooks Boston.

The project, which is the state's largest approved casino development, has been beset by legal challenges, including civil lawsuits from Boston and two other nearby cities, Revere and Somerville.

The motion to dismiss Boston's lawsuit was submitted to the city late Friday. The filing and the city's response are expected to be formally filed in court later this month.

The state filed a motion to dismiss Revere's lawsuit in July. It notes the inability to challenge license decisions in court. It also argued that the Connecticut casino operator Mohegan Sun, which is a party to Revere's suit, can't challenge the decision because it had competed for the license and lost to Wynn.

Somerville's lawsuit has been temporarily held, pending the state's review of Wynn's environmental mitigation plans.

Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders is expected to hear arguments on the motions in September.

The motion to dismiss came as the judge on Monday struck from the court record a lengthy brief from Boston that she determined was improperly filed. That brief, filed July 9, listed what Boston alleged were "bad faith" acts and "improper behavior" in the license competition.

Among its allegations was that at least five people have testified that Wynn Resorts knew a mob associate with felony convictions would profit from the casino land deal, in violation of state law.