With the Wynn casino in Everett now under construction, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that a judge should consider whether the state Gaming Commission violated a law requiring public deliberations during its considerations on whether to award a license to Wynn or a competing proposal at Suffolk Downs.
Theoretically, that could result in the judge nullifying the commission's decision to award the greater-Boston casino license to Wynn. The judge could also just issue an order to the commission to obey the open-meeting law in the future - or rule that, nah, the commission didn't break the legal requirement not to talk about deliberations in private.
Although the commission held numerous hearings in public - and streamed them on the Internet - the court said the plaintiffs had provided enough proof to suggest that commissioners also discussed what to do in some private sessions to warrant a second look by the judge.
The city of Revere, which was one of the plaintiffs in a legal bid to stop the Wynn casino, has since moved on and is now looking at a massive redevelopment of the Suffolk Downs property, which is just as well, since the state's highest court ruled that neither it nor IBEW Local 103 had any standing to ask for court action in the case.
The justices said this was because the legislature had expressly prohibited lawsuits over any commission rulings in the law it wrote to allow casinos in Massachusetts. They said Mohegan Sun was in a different situation because it was potentially directly harmed by the ruling in a way that common law dating back hundreds of years recognizes as meriting possible judicial review.