BOSTON (AP) — The state’s top gambling regulator has stepped away from the process for awarding a casino license in the Boston area.

The decision by Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby comes after he was criticized for attending at his own expense a private Kentucky Derby viewing party Saturday at the Suffolk Downs horse racing track. It is the site of a casino proposed by Mohegan Sun.

READ MORE: Boston Police Subdue Knife-Wielding Man With Bean Bag Round On Mass Ave.

Crosby announced at the beginning of Thursday’s commission meeting he would recuse himself going forward.

Commissioner James McHugh led the meeting, in which the commission is expected to decide whether to grant Boston’s request to be named a “host community” for casino proposals in the neighboring cities of Revere and Everett.

READ MORE: 'I Feel Very Vindicated': I-Team's Call For Action Helps Man Cancel Billerica Gym Membership

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh had previously called on Crosby to recuse himself, citing statements critical of the city’s host community request.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

MORE NEWS: Keller @ Large: Voter Rights Debate Isn't Just On The National Level, It's Happening In Massachusetts

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON
[display-posts category=”local” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4?”]