Mass. lawsuit challenges casino partnership

Springfield, Mass. (AP) - A western Massachusetts real estate group has filed a lawsuit against Penn National Gaming and Springfield businessman Peter Picknelly, claiming Picknelly broke a contract to develop a casino in Palmer.

The Springfield Republican reports Northeast Gaming Group Inc. is an associate of Northeast Realty, which owns land in Palmer where Mohegan Sun hopes to build. The lawsuit claims Northeast was damaged when Picknelly decided instead to partner with Penn National to develop a site in Springfield.

Picknelly attorney Michael Callan said the lawsuit filed Thursday is "frivolous" and a counter-suit is planned.

Penn National spokesman Eric Schippers said the lawsuit is without legal merit.

Under the state's gambling law, one casino will be licensed in western Massachusetts.

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