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Gaming Guru

John L Smith

Wynn threatens defamation suit against Boston mayor

17 July 2015

Embattled casino king Steve Wynn is once again threatening a defamation suit, this time against Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.

Earlier this year, Wynn was embarrassed when a California judge dismissed a slander suit he filed against stock market short-seller James Chanos and ordered his casino company to pay $422,000 in court costs and legal fees. Weeks later Wynn sent one of his attorneys to the Nevada Legislature to attempt to gut the state’s strong strategic lawsuit against public participation, or SLAPP, law, with tepid results.

Now Wynn Resorts Ltd. is threatening to sue Walsh for allegedly smearing the company in legal documents that are part of the city’s lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The Boston media are having a good time with it.

The city in May filed a weighty lawsuit against the gaming agency, alleging it violated state laws and regulations in an effort to ensure Wynn secured a license for his Everett casino.

Wynn through his attorney is now demanding Walsh apologize for the "false statements and untrue innuendo"쳌 included in court documents and subpoenas related to its litigation. In what the Boston Globe described as a "terse response to the letter,"쳌 a spokeswoman for the mayor said, "... We stand firmly behind the allegations in the amended complaint."

In his shot-across-the-bow letter, Wynn libel attorney Barry Langberg wrote in part, "Apparently, you have conducted yourselves with reckless disregard for the truth because you somehow feel your actions are immune from accountability. Such is not the case."쳌

But what is the case is the licensed casino company being mentioned in the same breath as organized crime figure Charles Lightbody, who was part of a real estate investment group that owned the ground Wynn chose as the site of his $1.7 billion pleasure palace.

What's also part of the conversation is the litigation's assertion that two former state troopers were allowed access to confidential investigative files inside the attorney general's office in connection with Wynn's licensing.

What's also part of the legal water cooler chatter is Lightbody's suspender-snapping confidence, recorded on tape, after having cut a sweet deal with Wynn's Massachusetts casino operation. Lightbody has since been indicted on fraud charges in connection with alleged deceptions during the Everett land sale.

Massachusetts has a quaint law that prohibits felons from benefiting from casino development. In Nevada, we usually refer to them as "forefathers."

Wynn Resorts, meanwhile, has bristled at any speculation that it received favoritism or knowingly carved out a land deal with a hoodlum-tainted real estate concern. It bristles a lot these days. Rumor has it the company is considering creating a "Department of Bristling" focused solely on growling whenever the names of organized crime types enter a conversation involving Wynn Resorts.

Meanwhile, Lightbody's attorney Timothy Flaherty minced few words in describing his client's view of the charges against him and the head of the casino corporation. In a 2014 Boston Herald story, Flaherty said, "It's very clear to me that Steve Wynn is not who he appears to be, his operation is not what it appears to be, and after a careful assessment and review of the facts, that will become apparent to all parties who are interested in this."

Do you wonder if Nevada's Gaming Control Board is one of those interested parties?

ON THE BOULEVARD: Governor Brian Sandoval is expected to officially name his friend and NV Energy Senior Vice President Tony Sanchez to the Nevada Athletic Commission. ... The Olympic Garden topless cabaret, long the property of the warring Eliades family, is set to change hands.

Have an item for Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to or call 702-383-0295. He's on Twitter at @jlnevadasmith.
Wynn threatens defamation suit against Boston mayor is republished from