Compulsive Gambler Loses Case in US District Court

The U.S. District Court in September 2022 dismissed a lawsuit filed by a New York man against three Atlantic City gambling companies. Sam Antar, a compulsive gambler, had accused Borgata casino, its parent MGM Resort International, and its online partner Entain of encouraging his gambling habit despite being aware of his addiction.

However, Judge Madeline Cox Arleo dismissed the lawsuit on January 31, 2024, citing the lack of a legal obligation imposed on casino operators to exclude compulsive gamblers in New Jersey. She explained that while New Jersey law regulates the responsibilities of casinos regarding compulsive gamblers, it does not explicitly address inducing problem gamblers to patronize their businesses.

Antar, who reportedly gambled $30 million over a nine-month period in 2019 and lost a six-figure amount, plans to appeal the decision. He expressed his belief that the law needs to be changed and emphasized the need to address addiction in the country.

The lawsuit also accused the gambling companies of fraud and racketeering, claiming that they were aware of technical issues in their online platforms that led to disconnections during winning hands, resulting in substantial financial losses for Antar.

The defendants cited a 2008 case where a federal judge ruled against a New York gambler who sued several Atlantic City casinos for not preventing her from losing nearly $1 million. MGM stated that it did not create or worsen Antar’s gambling problem and declined to comment further on the case.

Despite Antar’s history of fraudulent activities and a previous prison sentence related to such behavior, the court could still consider his claims of compulsive gambling as he plans to appeal the decision. The lawsuit has brought attention to the issue of problem gambling and the need for clearer regulations and obligations for gambling companies in New Jersey.