New Jersey Court Dismisses Problem Gambling Lawsuit Against Borgata Casino and MGM

The U.S. District Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by a New York man against three Atlantic City’s gambling companies in September 2022. After compulsive gambler Sam Antar accused Borgata casino, its parent MGM Resort International and its online partner Entain of plying him with offers to continue gambling despite their alleged awareness of Antar’s addiction,  Judge Madeline Cox Arleo dismissed a lawsuit on January 31, 2024 reportedly saying that the New Jersey legislature does not impose an obligation to casino operators to exclude compulsive gamblers.

Judge’s Rationale:

As reported by Associated Press (AP), the judge explained her decision writing that New Jersey casino law “pervasively regulates the responsibilities of casinos as they relate to compulsive gamblers, but is notably silent on whether casinos or online gambling platforms may induce people who present with compulsive gambling behavior to patronize their businesses.” Judge Arleo reportedly also wrote: “The New Jersey Legislature … has not yet seen fit to require casinos to prevent or stop inducing gambling from those that exhibit problem gambling behavior. As a matter of law, (the) defendants do not owe a negligence common law duty of care to plaintiffs.”

According to AP, other similar cases across the country have also been dismissed. Antar reportedly said that the law needs to be changed and announced that he would appeal the case. “This is not just about me; this is about all the people across this country who have this addiction,” he reportedly said. “When are we as a country going to address this?”

$30 million Gambled over Nine Months:

AP also reports that New Jersey has a self-exclusion program for in-person or online problem gamblers. The legislation reportedly requests operators to prevent self-excluded gamblers to place bets to avoid regulator’s fines. At the same time, Antar, with homes at New York and in Long Branch, New Jersey, reportedly gambled $30 million over 100,000 bets during nine months in 2019 and lost the amount that was ‘in at least six ps’, according to his lawyer.  But according to the same source, Sam Antar claimed that the defendants were aware of his addiction but still offered him to continue gambling over the subject nine months of 2019.

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According to Fortune, Antar filed a lawsuit against the three casino companies in September 2022. As reported, the accusations included the alleged fraud, racketeering, and other transgressions. As Fortune reported, Antar claimed that he had experienced extremely frequent disconnections from the online platforms that had wiped out his multiple winning hands. According to Fortune, the lawsuit claimed that Antar had lost ”hundreds of thousands of dollars” during the disputable period. The plaintiff al lodislot so claimed that the gambling companies knew about the recurring disconnections but ”knowingly kept malfunctioning games available to the public because they were too profitable to take down,” as Fortune reported.

Case Dismissed:

The defendants reportedly cited the 2008 case when the federal judge ruled against the New York gambler Arelia Taveras who sued several Atlantic City casinos claiming that they were obliged to stop her from losing nearly $ 1 million. As reported by AP, MGM said that it did not created or worsen Antar’s gambling problem. Judge Arleo dismissed the case on January 31, 2024 noting the deficiencies in the New Jersey legislation regarding problem gamblers.

The same source reports that plaintiff Sam Antar has a history of fraudulent activities and served a prison sentence in 2013 due to such involvements. But the Antar’s compulsive gambling claims may be additionally considered by the court as he reportedly plans to appeal the decision. On the other side, MGM reportedly declines comment on the case.