Massachusetts Court Allows Lawsuit over Wynn Resorts Casino License to Proceed

Gambling operator Wynn Resorts has had to overcome multiple legal challenges, since granted a permission to build a casino resort in the Greater Boston area back in 2014. And the company may once again see its right to materialize its project challenged in court after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled on Friday that a lawsuit against the state Gaming Commission over Wynn Resorts’ gaming license can move forward.

Connecticut’s Mohegan Tribe, the Massachusetts city of Revere, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers had sued the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, arguing that the process of selecting the winning bidder for the highly attractive Greater Boston casino license had been flawed.

The tribe had been among the contenders for said license after the state had amended its laws to legalize the construction of up to three full-scale Las Vegas-style casinos in three designated areas. Being one of Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribe, the Mohegans are also planning to build their home state’s third casino together with the Mashantucket Pequots. The gambling venue is to be located close to Connecticut’s border with Massachusetts and is intended to become a direct competitor to MGM Springfield, a $950-million resort set to open doors in 2018 in Springfield.

The five-member Massachusetts Gaming Commission had chosen Wynn Resorts’ proposal for a multi-million-dollar integrated resort on the Everett waterfront over the Mohegan Tribe’s project for the redevelopment of the Suffolk Downs racetrack into a full-fledged casino.

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and other concerned parties had afterwards contested the decision in court. The Friday ruling affirmed a previous court decision that the tribe had legal standing and could proceed with its lawsuit. However, the city of Revere and the labor union’s claim was considered to be lacking in legal standing.

It is yet to be confirmed whether the tribe will move forward with its legal battle against the Massachusetts gambling regulator. It had previously alleged that the commission had violated an open meetings law when deliberating the Greater Boston license. If the tribe moves forward and if it is ruled in favor of, this may result in certain civil penalties being imposed on the regulator and certain decisions made during the open meetings being annulled.

A spokesperson for Wynn Resorts said after the Friday news spread that the court’s ruling is not likely to affect construction process. The casino developer and operator is expected to cut the ribbon on its almost $2-billion integrated resort Wynn Boston Harbor in June 2019. The company affirmed that construction is progressing on schedule.

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