Mohegan Sun Challenges Wynn’s Massachusetts Casino License

  • Mohegan Sun is contesting casino license awarded to Wynn Resorts in 2014
  • Tribe claims company was given unfair advantages by Massachusetts Gaming Commission
  • Mohegan Sun wants to amend previous lawsuit to include events from last couple of years
  • Defense lawyers claim statute of limitations for such an amendment has passed
Encore Boston Harbor Casino Resort in Massachusetts
The Mohegan Sun continues to challenge Wynn Resorts’ casino license in Massachusetts, deeming the company was favorably treated by the state’s gaming commission during the application process. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Long-standing rival not giving up

The Mohegan Sun casino operator is still trying to overturn the awarding of a casino license to Wynn Resorts in Massachusetts, despite the licensed premises being open since June. 

The establishment in question is the Encore Boston Harbor Casino in Everett, which gives Wynn Resorts one of three casino licenses in the state.

unfair advantages at the time of the license application process

The tribal operator from Connecticut is calling on a judge to invalidate the Wynn Resorts license, claiming the latter enjoyed unfair advantages at the time of the license application process in 2014. With a significant amount of revenue on the line, the Mohegan Sun is still fighting its case.

Legal battle begins again

The battle between the Mohegan Sun and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission resumes on October 15 at the Suffolk Superior Court.

The case has been on hold for some time, during which the commission has been reconsidering Wynn’s suitability as a licensed operator in the state. This came after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged against Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn, and the company’s upper management was found to have hidden the allegations at the time of the license bidding process.

Ultimately, the gaming commission decided not to revoke the company’s license after reviewing the case for an entire year. In April, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission issued a $35m fine to the company, just two months before the $2.6bn casino resort’s opening in Everett.

Plaintiff seeking lawsuit amendment

The lawyers for the Mohegan Sun want Judge Janet Sanders to alter their previous lawsuit filed against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. They are requesting the inclusion of events that occurred in the last couple of years in the lawsuit.

plaintiff claims the commission is abusing its discretion

The plaintiff claims the commission is abusing its discretion and being capricious after finding the majority shareholder of Wynn Resorts and former wife of Steve, Elaine Wynn, and CEO Matt Maddox suitable to hold a license in Massachusetts.

A strong argument for the defense

The complaint amendment proposal was made on August 2. The Anderson & Kreiger lawyers, appointed on behalf of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, have argued that the statute of limitations period for such a claim has expired.

They also added that the filing should have been made within 60 days of the commission’s decision back in April. 

Judge Sanders’ previous reservations

Earlier this year, Judge Sanders was reluctant to revoke Wynn Resorts’ license while heading up a related case in July.

She believes such a decision could have drastic, irreparable consequences that would undo many years of hard work. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission would have to go back to square one in the re-issuance process of the license. Revoking the casino license would likely see the Encore Boston Harbor with no choice but to close its doors.

Despite the judge’s views, the Mohegan Sun will continue its legal battle.