by Sarah J.F. Braley | January 07, 2015
In a press conference on Monday, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that the City of Boston has filed a civil complaint against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in connection with the commission's awarding of a Category 1 gaming license to Wynn MA LLC for the development of a casino resort in Everett, near Boston.Wynn was awarded the casino resort license for Eastern Massachusetts in October. Walsh said the city has been negotiating with Wynn, but has been unable to reach an agreement that accurately represents the impact to the city and its residents. "We have spent an enormous amount of time and sustained effort on the casino issue over the past year since this is something that impacts every single one of our residents," Walsh said. "We have understood from day one the complexity of this issue as it relates to the city, and it has always been our belief that Boston is a host community. 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." He added that casino patrons will only be able to access the property through Boston neighborhoods, through an area that already is congested, posing possible environmental and public-safety problems.

A spokesperson for the commission said the organization has not had an opportunity to review the complaint yet, "but during the past year we have addressed the issues the city raised at the press conference -- multiple times, in a public and transparent manner. The commission believes that we have reviewed these issues thoroughly, objectively and fairly, and that exhaustive review helped lead to the decision to award the Wynn license with appropriate conditions. The commission continues to believe that our resolution was appropriate but also fully understands that parties who are disappointed in our decisions may want to test that belief through litigation."

Wynn's is the second of three casino resort licenses to be awarded by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The first went to MGM for an $800 million project slated for Springfield. The proposed $1.6 billion Wynn property, to rise in Everett, just north of Boston, would also include a 500-room luxury hotel, a spa and more.