Wynn Resorts’ plan to build a $1.6 billion casino resort in Everett faces a new challengeafter the city of Boston said Monday it has filed suit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for denying Bostonians their legal right to vote on the project.
The city’s case hinges on the fact that the only access to the casino, which lies just outside Boston city limits, is through the city’s Charlestown neighborhood. The announcement comes the same day Wynn revealed it had completed the $35 million purchase of the former Monsanto chemical plant on which the casino resort will be built.
In its complaint, the city argues Wynn failed to obtain access through Everett within 60 days of the award of the license – as required by law – leaving the sole access to the site through Boston.
The Gaming Commission feared Boston voters would reject the casino plan over public safety and traffic concerns, and it improperly barred Bostonians from “exercising their statutory right to vote,” the complaint said.
The complaint also alleges that one beneficiary of the casino plan would be a convicted felon who held an interest in FBT Everett Realty LLC, the firm that owned the casino site.
Boston’s attorneys say state law bars the issuance of a casino license if a convicted felon has a financial interest in the premises on which the casino will be located.
“Our priority is to protect the people of Boston and ensure the safety of our neighborhoods. It is clear to us that this is the best way to move forward for Charlestown, the city of Boston and the entire commonwealth,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said at a late afternoon City Hall press conference.
Wynn declined to comment on the lawsuit.The Gaming Commission did not return phone calls seeking comment on the lawsuit before press time.