BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby is asking a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit by Caesars Entertainment alleging he failed to disclose a potential conflict of interest in a timely manner and treated Caesars unfairly.
In a court filing Thursday, Crosby and Karen Wells, head of the commission's investigative arm, rejected the claims made by Caesars, calling them "inflammatory, but ultimately groundless."
Caesars had been a partner of the Suffolk Downs horse track in a resort casino bid, but withdrew in October after concerns were raised during the background check by commission staff.
Caesars' lawsuit, which was filed last month in U.S. District Court in Boston, challenged the "constitutionality, objectivity and fairness" of its treatment by Crosby.
It alleges that Crosby's intent was to block the impartial consideration of Suffolk Downs' casino application. His actions were "so flagrant and offensive as to shock the conscience and compel judicial intervention," Caesars' lawsuit stated
Caesars also claimed Crosby personally urged Wynn, a competitor for the eastern Massachusetts casino license, to remain in the application process.
The complaint was filed against Crosby both in his official capacity as chairman of the five-member panel and as an individual.
The motion to throw out the lawsuit argues that Caesars' complaint is "long on unfounded allegations that depend 'on information and belief,' but wholly deficient in viable claims for relief."
The state's 2011 casino law allows for the licensing of up to three casinos and a single slots parlor.
None of the licenses have been awarded yet.