Boston is suing the Massachusetts Gaming Commission over its award of a license to Wynn Resorts for a gambling resort in nearby Everett.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Suffolk County Superior Court, seeks "host community" status for Boston because the sole access to the suburban Everett site is through Boston's Charlestown neighborhood. Mayor Martin Walsh wants Charlestown residents to vote on the proposal. Boston is now considered a "surrounding community."
"Due to the location of the casino site, the City of Boston will bear the lion's share of the traffic, environmental and public safety harms," said the lawsuit. Boston would stand to obtain more mitigation funding as a host community.
In September, the five-member commission granted the casino license for Greater Boston — the most profitable of three available statewide under the 2011 enabling legislation— to Steve Wynn's proposal at a contaminated former Monsanto Chemical site. Mohegan Sun had proposed a facility in Revere, at the site of Suffolk Downs horse racing track.
Wynn had told the commission that he hoped to provide access through property in Everett owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, but no transaction has materialized. Earlier on Monday, Wynn announced it closed on its purchase of the Everett parcel from a company known as FBT Everett LLC.
The process has featured lawsuits, land-trust disputes, conflict-of-interest allegations and even accusations of ties to organized crime.
In Monday's lawsuit, Boston accused the owners of FBT Everett of concealing convicted felon Charles Lightbody's financial interests in the company and the former Monsanto site, "realizing that the disclosure of this information would preclude the use of the land as a site for a casino."
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston indicted Lightbody and business associates Dustin DeNunzio and Anthony Gattineri in October on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aiding and abetting,
"During the past year we have addressed the issues the city raised during the press conference - multiple times in a public and transparent manner," said Elaine Driscoll, the commission's director of communications. "The commission continues to believe that our resolution was appropriate but also fully understand that parties who are disappointed in our decisions may want to test that belief through litigation."
Commonwealth officials hope to generate up to $400 million annually when three regional resort casinos are up and running. Massachusetts factored in about $53 million in casino licensing fees and $20 million in slot-parlor money in its $36.5 billion budget that Gov. Deval Patrick signed in July.