The five-member Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Sept. 16 voted 3-1 to grant the casino license for Greater Boston — the most profitable of three available statewide — to Steve Wynn's Wynn Resorts over Mohegan Sun.
A ratification vote was scheduled for Sept 17.
Wynn plans to build a $1.6 billion proposal at a contaminated former Monsanto Chemical site in Everett, just outside Boston. Mohegan Sun had proposed a facility in Revere, at the site of Suffolk Downs horse racing track.
The process has featured lawsuits, land-trust disputes, conflict-of-interest allegations and even accusations of ties to organized crime.
In addition, casino opponents won the right to hold a statewide referendum in November on a motion to ban casinos altogether.
Other skeptics cite the saturation of casino gambling in the Northeast. Trump Plaza earlier this week became the fourth casino in Atlantic City, N.J., alone to shut down in 2014.
"There's no question that the Wynn applicant has a greater capital investment," said commission member James McHugh. He, Enrique Zuniga and Bruce Stebbins voted for Wynn.
Gayle Cameron, concerned about the pending shutdown of 79-year-old Suffolk Downs, favored Mohegan Sun's proposal.
The racetrack's chief operating officer, Chip Tuttle, confirmed the shutdown. "Over the next couple of days, we will look at how we will wind down operations in an orderly way," he told reporters.
Commission chairman Stephen Crosby recused himself from the Boston deliberations over concerns about a possible conflict of interest.
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.
Commonwealth officials hope to generate up to $400 million annually when three regional resort casinos are up and running, assuming there isn't a "no" vote in the November referendum. Its original target date was 2016, although delays may push back that timetable.