A New York state senator is attempting to block MGM Resorts International from purchasing a racino in the Empire State. State Sen. Shelley Mayer, a Democrat from Yonkers, says that MGM’s lawsuit against shooting victims indicates that the company does not belong in her area.
“They should withdraw the lawsuit if they want to proceed, if they want to be in our community,” Mayer told the New York Daily News.
MGM is seeking to purchase the Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway for $850 million. The company hoped to close the deal by Q1 2019. It would be MGM’s only property in New York.
However, the deal is subject to New York State Gaming Commission approval. Mayer hopes that her voice and the voices of New York residents affected by the attack will stop the deal in its tracks.
Lawsuit is a massive headache for MGM
On Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire from his hotel room at the MGM-owned Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino into a large crowd of concertgoers below. Fifty-nine people died in the attack, including Paddock.
In an effort to head off a slew of lawsuit threats, MGM controversially countersued any victims who announced they were considering legal action. The casino giant sought to limit its liability in the matter.
However, the public outcry over the lawsuit has severely damaged the company in the court of public opinion. Family members, lawmakers, and media members from both sides of the political spectrum have criticized MGM for its seemingly callous maneuver.
In the lawsuit, MGM named 11 New York residents. Several of them, like Michelle Torrente, echoed Mayer’s calls to stop the deal.
“My first reaction was how can you do this to people who have already gone through so much,” said Torrente. “There’s other companies, (and) I don’t think I would ever do any kind of business with them.”
Torrente was not shot during the attack. However, she suffered minor injuries and emotional distress in the ensuing panic.
“We’re not looking for monetary damages. We’re not looking to harm anyone, in fact, we would like to see those affected compensated as soon as possible.”