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Slashdot - MGM Paid Problem Gambler To Not Report Online Glitches


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An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Associated Press: A New York City man is suing an Atlantic City casino, its parent company and its online betting partner, alleging he was repeatedly disconnected while gambling online, and was given payments to prevent him from reporting the malfunctions to New Jersey gambling regulators during a nine-month span in which he wagered over $29 million. Sam Antar says he is a compulsive gambler -- a fact he says was well-known to defendants in the case including the Borgata casino, MGM Resorts International, and its online partner Entain. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in state Superior Court in Middlesex County, Antar accuses the defendants of fraud, racketeering and other transgressions. His lawsuit asserts that he experienced thousands of disconnections from the online platforms, often when he had a winning hand that was then wiped out. His lawyer, Christopher Gramiccioni, said Antar experienced a disconnection rate approaching 50% during the nine months covered by the lawsuit. He added Antar, 46, had lost "easily hundreds of thousands of dollars" during that time. "It's one thing if you have technical issues intermittently," said Gramiccioni, a former Monmouth County prosecutor. "It is quite another when you have them 50% of the time. The casino did not take corrective action as required. They kept doubling down and giving him $30,000 a month, feeding him extra money to try to avoid scrutiny by the regulatory agencies." In his lawsuit, Antar claims he alerted numerous employees and officials with the gambling companies to the fact that there was a serious, recurring problem with disconnections, but that they knowingly kept malfunctioning games available to the public because they were too profitable to take down. He says his complaints were made to local supervisors and VIP hosts, an online complaint portal, and even to the president of the casino and the CEO of its parent company. He also claims the companies paid him near-daily bonuses totaling $30,000 a month to keep him playing and to entice him not to report problems with the games to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. [...] Antar said employees acknowledged problems with the system were affecting other customers as well. In a July 17, 2019 text and email conversation, Antar quotes one as telling him "other players are not getting anywhere near what you are getting" in terms of compensation for being kicked offline while gambling. "In 2013, Sam Antar was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for taking $225,000 in a fraudulent investment scheme" to feed his compulsive gambling habit, notes the report.

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