Boston Sues Gaming Commission to Block Planned Wynn Casino

Boston sued the Massachusetts state gambling regulator to block a planned Wynn Resorts Ltd. casino near the city, arguing residents should get to vote on the $1.6 billion project because they will bear the brunt of the environmental impact and traffic congestion.

The Gaming Commission should nullify the casino license it awarded to the city of Everett, which is adjacent to Boston, and name Boston as the development’s formal host, according to a complaint filed today in state court.

“It has always been our belief that Boston is a host community” for the casino, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement today. “Our priority is to protect the people of Boston and ensure the safety of our neighborhoods.”

Wynn Resorts, the company founded by Steve Wynn, was awarded the sole license in September to operate a casino in the Boston area, beating a plan from the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. The resort is planned on the site of a former chemical plant.

Michael Weaver, a spokesman for Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The planned casino has already hit legal snags. In October, federal and state prosecutors in Boston said Wynn Resorts had unwittingly planned the development on land linked to organized crime, making the claim in charging three men with lying to the company and state gaming regulators about the connection.

The men were arrested after being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of hiding financial links between one of the men -- an associate of the New England Family of La Cosa Nostra criminal group -- and land being sold to Wynn Resorts.

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