Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to stop the Wynn Casino development approved in September unless Boston residents get a binding vote on the project’s approval. Wynn Resorts has been granted permission by the Gaming Commission to erect a casino resort costing $1.6 billion in Everett. Everett is situated just North of the Boston Metro area. Mayor Walsh maintains that Boston should have the designation of “host city” for the project under the state’s 2011 casino statute.
Mayor Walsh is arguing that Boston residents would have to bear the impact of any traffic congestion with Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square the only access points to the planned resort. Walsh contends that Wynn should have been disqualified by the commission due to alleged criminal activity by one of the landowners of the Everett property where the Wynn project is to be built.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has released a statement citing that they believe they have acted “thoroughly, objectively and fairly” in granting the license. The Revere and Somerville municipalities have sued the commission to block the development as well. Many of the same arguments have been used by all parties.
Wynn Resorts was awarded the Greater Boston casino license in Everett, and beat the plan proposed by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. Mayor Walsh had a deal that would have paid Boston about $18 million a year if Mohegan would have been granted the license in Revere – no such deal was struck with Wynn.
The press has reported that a payment of $35 Million has been made to purchase the property for the development, on the site of an old chemical plant – slashed from $75 million after it was found that a convicted felon, possibly linked to organized crime, had an interest in the land. Wynn announced that the real estate transaction had been finalized and they had taken possession of the land a few hours before the Boston lawsuit was announced.