The Judge Rejects the Problem Gambler’s Complaint Against the Online Casinos in Atlantic City
A federal court rejected a case brought by a self-described problem gambler, ruling that Atlantic City casinos are not constitutionally compelled to provide relief to compulsive gamblers from their betting.
According to the Associated Press, Sam Antar filed a case on January 31 against Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and its parent company, MGM Resorts International, but it was rejected by US District Court Judge Madeline Cox Arleo.
Antar said that despite being aware of his addiction, the AC casino tricked him into playing. Antar claimed in court filings that he wagered around $30 million in 2019 at Borgata and online via the BetMGM NJ online casino app, placing over 100,000 bets. Antar did not state the exact amount he lost.
Do the Casinos in Atlantic City Owe Problem Gamblers?
According to Cox Arleo, Atlantic City casinos, and NJ, internet casinos are not legally required by New Jersey’s gaming laws to discourage or outlaw compulsive gamblers.
The judge stated in her ruling that the state’s gaming law heavily governs the obligations of casinos regarding compulsive gamblers. However, the judge makes no mention of whether casinos or online gambling sites may encourage patronage from individuals who exhibit compulsive gambling behavior.
Similar cases have been dropped in other states. Cox Arleo also mentioned two incidents from New Jersey: one had a visitor who said they were too inebriated to be held accountable for their gambling losses, and the other involved another compulsive gambler. Those two instances ended in failure.
Anyone may participate in New Jersey’s voluntary exclusion program. Atlantic City casinos and internet operators have to step in when someone on the list attempts to bet. People cannot be coerced into the self-exclusion program, however.