Mohegan Sun pursuing suit against Mass. gaming regulators

Mohegan Sun has been arguing in a 3-year-old lawsuit that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission illegally favored Wynn Resorts when it awarded Wynn the coveted Boston-area casino license after a vetting process that began in 2013.

During the process, the commission should have found Wynn Resorts “unsuitable” to operate a casino in the state, Mohegan Sun claims. Mohegan Sun asks that the awarding of the license be vacated.

In September 2014, the commission chose Wynn Resorts’ Everett proposal over Mohegan Sun’s plan to build a resort casino in Revere adjacent to the Suffolk Downs racetrack. Mohegan Sun’s legal claim stems from its status as an intervener in a suit brought by the City of Revere, a labor union representing Suffolk Downs workers and several private citizens.

A Superior Court judge dismissed the claims by Revere and the others but ruled that Mohegan Sun could pursue the commission.

A filing in the case last week was prepared before the recent revelations about Steve Wynn, chairman and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts, whom employees have accused of sexual misconduct. Wynn resigned from his position late Tuesday.

In the filing, attorneys for Mohegan Sun move for a judgment against the commission and individual commissioners, repeating the suit’s claim that the commission acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” in awarding Wynn Resorts the Boston-area license.

“Shot through with bias in favor of a single applicant, weighted down by arbitrary procedural changes to benefit a favorite, and infused with pronouncements of unchecked power, MGC’s (the commission’s) process leading to the grant of the Region A license to Wynn stands as a cautionary tale,” the latest filing says.

Attorneys for the commission filed a response to what they call Mohegan Sun’s “razor-thin challenge,” denying all of its claims.

In the wake of the Wall Street Journal’s Jan. 26 report of the allegations against Wynn, the commission has commenced a review of Wynn Resorts’ license. During a meeting last week, commission staff indicated Wynn’s failure to disclose a $7.5 million out-of-court settlement with one of his accusers was of particular interest.

The commission is scheduled to discuss the status of its review when it meets Wednesday in Boston.

Mohegan Sun officials have said only that they are monitoring the situation.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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