Boston Mayor Marty Walsh today announced the city has expanded its lawsuit against the state Gaming Commission to seek nullification of all its decisions, not just the one allowing a casino in Everett on the Charlestown line, and a court ruling that the present commissioners be disqualified from any future votes on a Boston-area casino. Read more.
In a lawsuit filed today, Boston seeks to have the state's award of a casino license to Wynn for a site in Everett tossed out as illegal, charging the planned Everett casino will be built on a foundation of criminal acts and legal bungling that will destroy efforts to improve Sullivan Square and deny the city its rightful amount of mitigation money.
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports:
A memorandum of law obtained by Lawyers Weekly accuses Wynn Resorts of violating state law by failing to disclose an August letter it received from the IRSâ€™ criminal division before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarded Wynn the coveted Boston-area casino license in September.
The Globe reports on Somerville's suit against the state gaming commission, over one of the owners of the land Wynn's casino will go on.
The state Gaming Commission voted today to pick the Wynn proposal for Everett over the Mohegan Sun proposal for Suffolk Downs, with three of the four commissioners saying Wynn's proposal would be better for the area, workers and the environment.
Commission members said Wynn proved it had greater capital to ensure its project could get built and then run through challenging economic times - and would spend more money locally than Mohegan Sun. Also, if Wynn doesn't build, the contaminated, empty site on which it would be built would stay a contaminated, empty site.
The Boston Business Journal updates us on the latest in the Boston-area casino deliberations - the state Gaming Commission could require Wynn to bargain with the city over Sullivan Square traffic issues if Wynn gets the license, but an angry Marty Walsh indicates he might still sue if Wynn wins.
WBUR reports on the decision between Suffolk Downs/Mohegan Sun in Revere and Wynn in Everett - two months before voters decide whether to allow any casinos in the state at all.
The Boston Business Journal reports the Massachusetts chapter of the American Institute of Architects finds the Mohegan Sun proposal for Revere much better on the outside.
Updated with Gaming Commission statement.
MassLive.com reports the state Gaming Commission told Boston that if it's unwilling to go to arbitration with Wynn over compensation for its proposed Everett casino, then it's stripping Boston of its "surrounding community" status.
In a statement this morning, the commission says this does NOT mean Boston will get nothing from Wynn should it be selected for the Boston area's one casino license:
If Wynn gets the state's casino license for greater Boston, it says it will pay a local clean-water group to "seed" the Mystic's mouth with up to 250,000 oysters as a natural water-filtration system that could also help re-establish an estuary ecosystem there.
The Massachusetts Oyster Project has been working to bring oysters back to the waters of Boston Harbor because the bivalve's natural feeding habits - basically opening up and letting water flow in - are great at filtering particulates out of the water, some 30 gallons' worth of water a day.
The Globe reports Steve Wynn doesn't want to pay Boston more than $2.6 million a year for a casino just over the line from Charlestown, compared to the $18 million Mohegan Sun says it would pay for a casino just over the line from East Boston.
Mayor Walsh today announced an agreement with Mohegan Sun under which the proposed Revere casino would pay the city at least $18 million a year plus another $3 million a year just for capital stuff in East Boston - should the state approve it as the Boston area's resort casino, rather than a competing plan in Everett.
In addition, the mayor said the owners of Suffolk Downs have agreed to keep their race track open through the life of the Mohegan Sun license. Also, Mohegan Sun will spend $45 million on traffic improvements around the casino.
In a statement, the mayor says:
MassLive.com reports the city is proclaiming it just as good as the sort of agreement it would have gotten had the state ruled Boston was still a "host" community.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today Attorney General Martha Coakley goofed on blocking a referendum on casinos from appearing on this fall's ballot and ordered the question put to voters.
The state's highest court said the question, which would block casinos in the state would not be a "taking" of casino applicants' property, which the AG had said was the reason to keep it off the ballot.
Instead, the court ruled, the question deals with issues of public safety, which is a matter the state constitution let's voters decide.
The Globe takes a look at the mayor's pals and their connection to the proposed casino land deal.
The Globe reports on Supreme Judicial Court Justice Robert Cordy, who once did lobbying for Suffolk Downs and who worked for then Gov. William Weld, now a lawyer for Steve Wynn, which is battling Suffolk Downs/Mohegan Sun for the Boston area's one casino license.
Lawsuit? Mayor Walsh issued this statement today on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission's decision yesterday that Boston isn't a referendum-holding host community for either of the proposed local casinos:
Based on the ambiguous and arbitrary process the Gaming Commission has pursued, we believe that we have multiple options available to us at this time.
We are continuing to work aggressively to determine the appropriate action to continue our fight for the people of Boston. My position has not changed: Boston is a host community to both sites, and the people of Boston -- of Charlestown and East Boston -- deserve the opportunity to vote and have their voices heard. â€‹
Yeah, sure, casinos right on the city line will have major impacts on Boston, but Boston is not a "host community" for either of the proposed casinos, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decided today. The vote means Boston will not be able to hold referendums on the casinos that could block them permanently.
Commission members unanimously rejected arguments by Boston officials that the Suffolk Downs racetrack, which mostly sits in East Boston, is an integral part of the Mohegan Sun proposal.
Stephen Crosby just announced that while he knows he's impartial despite his longstanding ties to one of the owners of the site of a proposed Everett casino, too many other people think he can't be, so he's recusing himself from any discussions or votes related to the proposed casinos at Suffolk Downs and in Everett.
On Monday, the Supreme Judicial Court hears arguments on whether it should order the state to allow a referendum this fall to repeal casino gambling.
Attorney General Martha Coakley declined to permit the question on the ballot, saying it would be an illegal "taking" of private property - in this case, the rights casino operators would gain if awarded contracts to run casinos - and would be unfair to the four communities that would otherwise stand to benefit from casinos or a slots parlor.