Head of gaming commission seen at party thrown by applicant vyin - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Head of gaming commission seen at party thrown by applicant vying for casino license

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The state's top gaming regulator, Stephen Crosby, is one of five who will decide if Suffolk Downs is granted a lucrative casino license worth hundreds of millions of dollars and his appearance at a party on opening day at Suffolk Downs is raising eyebrows.

Former inspector general Greg Sullivan says that Crosby’s attendance sends the wrong message.

“It's crazy to do that,” Greg Sullivan, former inspector general, said. “No judge would ever do that in the middle of a trial. Can you imagine what it would be like to be in a trial or big competition like this to have the deciding party going to one of the others' big fancy event?”

FOX 25 Political Reporter Sharman Sacchetti wanted to ask Crosby himself about the controversy, but was told he wasn't available.

In a statement, a gaming commission spokeswoman told FOX 25 that "commissioners individually pay for the cost of attendance at opening day events as Chairman Crosby appropriately did in this instance. Attendance at these events is important to demonstrate the commission's recognition of our racing employees and our constituents in the horse racing industry."

Everett Mayor Carlo Demaria, who supports a Wynn Casino in his city and is in direct competition with the Suffolk Downs proposal, says perhaps Crosby just wanted to see how things were being managed.

“As chair of the gaming commission don't you want to avoid the appearance of impropriety? No, I just think he's trying to get a feel for people there, the facility maybe or maybe he just wanted to see some horse racing,” Demaria said.

He went on to say, “You know, I heard you couldn't get a drink. I heard it took 30 minutes to wager a bet.”

Crosby is in a powerful position, so what else would he say? Demaria insists he sees nothing wrong.

As for those other controversies? Caesars is suing Crosby after the gaming commission found they were linked to Russian mobsters. Crosby's past business ties to the owner of the Wynn Everett site have also been called into question after he waited a year to reveal them.

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