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Hopkinton sues state gaming commission over information

Posted by Tom Coakley  September 12, 2013 06:35 PM

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Hopkinton officials announced Thursday that the town has sued the Massachusetts Gaming Commission alleging it has “withheld public records contained in the gaming license application of Crossroads Massachusetts LLC,” the business entity behind Foxwoods’ plans to build a $1 billion resort casino in neighboring Milford.

Board of Selectmen Chairman John Mosher said that his community filed the suit in Middlesex Superior Court after being frustrated by the “lack of transparency and best practices exhibited by the Gaming Commission.”

“We are just trying to get a justifiable amount of information,” he said.

Elaine Driscoll, spokeswoman for the Gaming Commission, declined to comment, referring all inquired to the state Attorney General’s office. Brad Puffer, spokesman for Attorney General Martha Coakley's office declined to comment.

Driscoll has said in the past that the gaming commission was working to get the 21,000 pages of documents prepared for release. Those documents were provided to the town earlier this year, but according to the suit, too much of the information was redacted in an effort to protect the privacy of the individual applicants.

Hopkinton alleges the withheld information does not fall within the realm of the gambling law’s public records exemption, which it says permit redactions of material contained in a gambling license application only for information that would place prospective casino developers at a competitive disadvantage.

“Residents and local governments of the Metrowest region need information and have a right to acquire it,” Mosher said in the announcement. “It’s critical to understand how the proposed casino could impact our region and know who the region is doing business with.”

On Monday, the Milford Board of Selectmen signed a host agreement with Foxwoods, and voters in that town will vote on the document in a special election Nov. 19.

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