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Suffolk Downs bets big on lawsuit over Everett casino

With the Wynn Encore Boston Harbor casino nearing completion, the company that owns Suffolk Downs has filed a suit under the federal racketeering law against the project against Wynn and the company Wynn bought its Everett land from.

Suffolk Downs competed against Wynn for the Boston-area casino license, but lost. In a suit filed in US District Court in Boston yesterday, it is now seeking at least $3 billion in recompense - $1 billion for the direct losses it said it incurred, tripled, as allowed under the RICO law.

The company's suit hinges on the way Wynn bought the Everett land on which the casino is being built and the general unsuitability of its officers:

The Wynn Defendants were granted a license to operate their casino on a toxic waste site loaded with levels of arsenic still so high that a child day care center would not be permitted to be housed there, even after the site was remediated and the regulations amended to countenance higher levels.

Casino gambling has long been viewed as an industry particularly vulnerable to criminal influence as well as unusually likely to encourage political corruption. When Massachusetts decided to legalize casino gambling in 2011 after decades of discussion and debate, the enabling legislation contained numerous safeguards against those risks. The Wynn Defendants purchased the toxic site from an entity owned jointly by associates of La Cosa Nostra and a friend and former business partner of the Chairman of the Gaming Commission, Stephen Crosby. Not only did this sale run afoul of the Gaming Act, but this criminally-tainted entity was actually brought on to provide services to the Wynn Defendants and paid $100,000 per month per the terms of an Option Agreement prior to the Wynn Defendants' acquisition of the property. At least one of those "service providers" used threats and physical violence to further the Wynn Defendants' pursuit of the Gaming License. This was exactly the situation that the Gaming Act sought to prevent. ...

Subsequent public disclosures have revealed just how unsuited the Wynn Defendants were. Defendants Steve Wynn, Kimmarie Sinatra, and others were recently compelled to step down or were fired when Steve Wynn's long and sordid history of inappropriate sexual conduct was finally disclosed, together with their pattern of concealment through lies, omissions and pay-offs. Defendant Matthew Maddox, who has not yet stepped down, is no less culpable. These are the very same actors involved in the conspiracy to obtain the Region A License. 12. While certain of the bad actors have been forced out of the Wynn organization, and Steve Wynn's name has been wiped from its casino in order to appear to "cleanse" the Wynn entities so as to attempt to retain the Region A License, this does not change the fact that the license could not have been awarded to the Wynn Defendants in the first place but for the RICO predicate acts which include those described herein. Nor does it absolve any of the Defendants and others from permitting themselves to be drawn into a long-running criminal enterprise and conspiracy.xxxSSR was injured by the Defendants' RICO violations to the tune of well over a billion dollars, and is entitled to receive treble its actual losses, in an amount to be proven at trial, plus attorneys' fees and costs. The Wynn Defendants have also damaged SSR by violating [the state consumer-protection law], proscribing unfair methods of competition and unfair business practices, and SSR is entitled to all appropriate and available relief under that statute as well.

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PDF icon Complete Sterling Suffolk complaint273.31 KB

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Comments

1) East Boston residents voted against your casino, and killed it. Then, you still tried to backdoor another one in. Get out of here with any complaint that the other game in town is acting sketchy.

2)

Casino gambling has long been viewed as an industry...unusually likely to encourage political corruption.

Huh, we suddenly care about political corruption in Massachusetts? Particularly in the Boston area? Also, see point 1.

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Voting closed 12

The No Eastie Casino group was run by the La Casa Nostra associate referenced here. He even staged a fight to show the Suffolk Downs group in a bad light. And that's only what we know publicly.

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Voting closed 3

Who didn't want it in their neighborhood, period. Yes, Charlie Lightbody joined that group, because he had a heavy financial interest, but don't go all Grassy Knoll on us. The people of East Boston voted against it, which is something that should be understood on Uhub, where every poster thinks they have the power to shut down every proposed building.

That vote wasn't the last word either. The casino could have been built entirely in Revere (who's residents did not have ethical qualms). The casino commission based their ruling on the fact that the Suffolk Downs group had weak and suspect financial backing. They just didn't think that group could pull it off.

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Voting closed 4

That the project had weak and suspect financial backing? Oh yeah, they set a cap on licenses themselves.

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Voting closed 2

Why do you think if more licenses were sold Suffolk Downs would have had better prospects? The number of casinos were how Patrick sold this to the public in the first place. It was done this way because no one wanted to have every ice cream stand at Salisbury Beach suddenly become a casino. It was 3 casinos and one slots parlor, and thats what companies were bidding on. So part of the deal that we brokered was that there would be no completion in the defined areas. This is the contract that the state entered into with Wynn.

Of course, some people looked at the money we got from the licenses and asked hey, why don't we sell some more? (see above). Complete with some sketchy guy from Revere/Thailand wanting to put in a slots parlor near Suffolk Downs. Why can't I? Because you can't. If we tried to sell more casino licenses the original 4 would sue our pants off, and win.

All reservations about gambling and Steve Wynn aside (yes, that's a lot to ask), over $2B has been spent in Everett to build a first class destination. The commission thought that the Suffolk Downs group just didn't have the money to pull that off, and what money they did have traced back to sketchy places.

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Voting closed 7

The facts are that Wynn inflated his numbers on the size of the project in order to pass the Gaming commission, which handpicked him to run the Everett bid after his Foxboro bid fell through. They were playing favorites—as the suit details—and eventually gave him the bid based on him promising a larger scale development, which he has already downsized across the board. Fewer jobs, smaller entertainment venue, etc., etc. Either the Gaming Commission was duped or they were in on it from the beginning.

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Voting closed 4

I don't really care who was running it tbh. The tunnels, local streets, and even the resident airport shortcuts can't handle days that end in "y" anymore, let alone the traffic nightmare this would have brought. The majority of the neighborhood did not want this, and voted it down; then Suffolk Downs tried to backdoor us. Pot. Kettle. Black. Period.

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Voting closed 0

I, as a Brightonian, have been completely disenfranchised throughout this whole process. Every resident of Foxboro got to vote on a proposal for Foxboro. Every resident of Revere got to vote on a proposal for Revere. Only East Boston residents got to vote on a proposal for Boston.

The entire process to get a building housing a bunch of (expletive) card games constructed has left me with the same feeling I got from HBO's "Show Me a Hero": I hate essentially everybody involved. I hate East Boston's voters, I hate the state Gaming Commission, I hate Steve Wynn, and I hate every jackass who inhabited our community between the invention of blackjack and 2014 who didn't recognize that prohibition doesn't work.

City and state borders drawn centuries ago are an obnoxious construct which do little in 2018 except to foster resentment and make for football rivalries.

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Voting closed 3

While dreaming about the dollars coming in. I myself am amazed that Menino didn't make this a city-wide vote, but it was the right thing to do. We know that the vast majority of Boston could care less about what happens on the other side of the harbor. You were "completely disenfranchised throughout the whole process" because it had nothing to do with you.

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Voting closed 3

On my way home from work sometimes to avoid the Leverett downramp at 6:30. This actually has plenty to do with me.

Foxwoods and Mohegan opened 25 years ago. That nobody has been able to open and get a piece of that pie is a disgrace. This casino will assuredly create a traffic nightmare. My response to that isn't "don't build a casino", it's "build a bunch of casinos that all open around the same time to spread out traffic to them."

But that wouldn't allow a gaming commission to potentially extort rewards for itself, so it didn't happen that way. ChrisinEastie had a point about people around here not caring. Well, trying giving a (expletive) and being a smart person one time (not you personally, any disengaged citizen.) It's fun to be smart.

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Voting closed 3

Hence the final plan that was submitted to the Gaming Commission. If you want to argue that it was just over the city limits, I will remind you that the same thing was true with the Everett proposal.

On the one hand, it does seem like sour grapes. On the other hand, the Wynn proposal, all the hijinks of Mr. Wynn notwithstanding, had gaping problems that seemed to be ignored. The land issue at the heart of this suit is a prime example of something known that the Gaming Commission overlooked.

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Voting closed 5

Most blindingly obvious proof I've ever seen that people are complete morons when it comes to both geography and discerning incentives.

Was it a secret to East Boston voters that SD's property is also in Revere and that every city would get a chance to vote, as other cities and towns in MA had before them?

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Voting closed 9

The Gaming Commission is a joke. How many casinos are they "regulating" two or three? One doesn't even offer traditional table games. This should have come under the State Lottery Commission with a few new employees, not an entire bureaucracy,

It's sad to see Suffolk Downs, Wonderland and Raynham underutilized. My understanding is that Suffolk Downs has a few races each summer that are packed, plus an opportunity to bet on simulcasts of the three races of the Triple Crown, Breeders Cup. etc. It would be nice to save one of them.

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Voting closed 7

Show me the citizen who said verbatim to a state rep "I want for there to be three, and precisely three, gaming places in the whole state, and I want for my money to pay a whole new commission with shady members to decide, in league with complete moron voters, who wins."

Again, it's not representative democracy if the elected leaders answer questions which nobody asked.

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Voting closed 4

Too many developers see the E-B and Revere sites as metro fringe parcels. If the 1A and 16 formed a useful highway loop, then Suffolk and others could attract a wider list of tenants such as IKEA.

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Voting closed 4