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Conflict for consultant could delay casino license to June

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The state gambling commission on Monday terminated a consulting contract over a potential conflict of interest, which could cause a one-month delay in the awarding of a casino license in Greater Boston.

The commission ended a contract with McFarland Johnson, a company retained to study petitions from municipalities seeking to be designated “surrounding communities” to casino projects in Greater Boston, according to the commission. The company may have done work for a casino license applicant, Mohegan Sun, while under contract with the commission, according to a memo from the commission’s general counsel, Catherine Blue. Mohegan Sun alerted the commission to the potential conflict, Blue said.

The contract termination could delay the granting of the license, to late June, if surrounding communities cannot negotiate compensation deals with developers and the disputes go to arbitration, according to the commission.

Mark Arsenault can be reached at mark.arsenault@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bostonglobemark
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