MSG sues NY Liquor Authority over alcohol ban threat

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation has filed a lawsuit against the New York State Liquor Authority.

It accuses the regulator of threatening a ban on the consumption of alcohol at its venues.

The filing is the latest in an ongoing feud between New York Knicks owner James Dolan and the SLA, which has been investigating MSG for banning attorneys involved in litigation against the company.

New York law stipulates that retail venues that are licensed to sell alcohol are required to allow access to the general public.

However, MSG has steadfastly refused to allow rival attorneys inside company venues during ongoing litigation.

‘This gangster-like governmental organization has finally run up against an entity that won’t cower in the face of their outrageous abuses,’ Dolan, who also owns the NHL’s Rangers, said in a statement. ‘While others that have been subject to this harassment may have been forced into submission or silence, we are taking a stand on behalf of our fans and the many small businesses who have long been subject to the SLA’s corruption.’

The lawsuit has not yet been served to the SLA, the organization said in a statement Saturday: ‘As the agency has not been served in this suit at this time, we cannot comment on it directly, but we stand ready to vigorously defend our processes, actions, and dedicated staff.’

In February, the SLA charged MSG with four violations for the ‘adverse attorney policy,’ which has also drawn the attention of New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office is investigating the use of facial-recognition technology to enforce the policy.

MSG has until March 15 to respond to the SLA’s charges.

The company claims the SLA is misrepresenting its rules by mandating venues that sell liquor to be open to the public, while night clubs and bars have ‘far more exclusionary policies.’

In January, the usually media-shy Dolan addressed the controversy on Good Day New York.

‘If you’re suing us, we just asking you please don’t come until you’re done with your argument with us – the end,’ Dolan told Good Day New York. ‘And yes, we’re using facial recognition to enforce that.’

When asked if he would back down from this position, Dolan emphatically responded: ‘Not at all.’

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