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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Opposition to Plans for Mystic River Casino

BOSTON (CN) - Massachusetts is letting Wynn Resorts open a casino on the banks of the Mystic River, despite the participation of "at least one convicted felon," a nearby community claims in court.

Wynn hopes to turn a former chemical plant site in Everett, Mass., into a top-tier gambling destination with the largest private development project in state history.

It received its license last month from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, but the nearby city of Somerville says this award "appears to enrich individuals who are the subject of federal and state indictments."

"During the application process, information became public that at least one convicted felon had or previously may have had an economic interest in the Everett site," the complaint Somerville filed Thursday in Suffolk County Superior Court states.

"The commission failed to disqualify Wynn or require Wynn to abandon its license application or the Everett site," the complaint continues. "Further, one or more individuals who had or may have had an economic interest in the Everett site have been indicted by a grand jury on federal and state charges, respectively."

Somerville, which notes that it is a designated "surrounding community" that the casino will likely affect, also accuses the commission of ignoring the Gaming Act's requirement that applicants identify any ownership interests in land over the past 20 years on which a proposed casino is to be built.

No specific name is mentioned in the complaint.

The commission "abused its discretion and exceeded its authority" when granting the license, according to the complaint.

Somerville says the commission voted on Nov. 20 to approve a written decision of the license award.

The city is represented by city solicitor Francis Wright Jr.

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