Wynn Casino Proposal Won’t Be Hurt by Federal Investigation: Revere Working to Keep Suffolk Downs Proposal Alive

The federal and state investigations into the land deal that Wynn Resorts made as the basis for its Everett casino proposal, should not affect the casino giant’s proposal or its qualifications to earn the sole gaming license in Eastern Massachuasetts, according to statements Mass Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby made to CBS last week.

“It didn’t have anything to do with Wynn,” said Crosby in an interview with CBS Boston. “This is nothing Wynn knew about.”

In response to the investigations, Wynn released a statement last week noting that they had re-worked the land sales agreement, to reduce the amount of money it will pay for the site, as a result of the investigations.

“We have agreed with the sellers to amend our option agreement to clearly confirm ownership and to reduce the option price to reflect fair market value without casino use, we intend to petition the Mass Gaming Commission for its approval of our action,” read the statement in part. “While we are and have been aware of the general Mass Gaming Commission investigation, we are unaware of any other investigation to the real property.”

At issue here is the possible minority, or “blind” partnership status of Revere businessman Charles Lighbody, who has a lengthy criminal background and may be a limited partner in the land ownership group.

Since the Massachusetts State Gaming law requires that no criminal enterprise benefit from the award of the gaming licenses, the potential windfall from the sale of the land to Wynn and how it would benefit Lightbody, or any other limited partner, is being investigated by both state and federal investigators.

Meanwhile, the city of Revere has been working tirelessly with Chip Tuttle and the ownership of Suffolk Downs to try and keep hopes for the Suffolk Downs casino proposal alive as well.

Since the city of Revere voted to approve the casino proposal city officials, including Mayor Dan Rizzo, have been meeting to re-position the entire gaming complex on the Revere side of the Suffolk Downs property, essentially making East Boston a surrounding community in the project, instead of a co-host ton the proposal.

It is not clear yet what action the city of Boston, or anti-casino groups in East Boston, will do if the state decides to award the license to Suffolk Downs.

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