Last September, Sam Antar gambled nearly $30 million on BetMGM online casinos, which prompted the man from New York City to sue the company for taking advantage of his gambling addiction. He claimed MGM Resorts International exploited his gambling problem by giving him more cash through bonuses.
The gambling company refused Antar’s allegations, claiming he was a fraudster who had been jailed twice. MGM Resorts International announced it did not break New Jersey’s laws and asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit and refer the issue to arbitration, in accordance with the company’s terms of service to which Antar agreed when he opened an online account with BetMGM.
In court papers filed on June 9, MGM claims that Sam Antar is a fraudster who duped not only strangers but also his friends and relatives. The company states that Antar’s accusations are part of his latest scheme to scam people. MGM Resorts International also highlighted the fact that Sam Antar is a twice-jailed fraudster who scammed numerous people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent stock investment schemes. The company declined to further comment on the matter.
But MGM certainly has reasons to claim that Antar is a fraudster. Eddie Antar, the uncle of Sam Antar, founded the Crazy Eddie retail chain in the 1970s and 1980s. He took over $74 million by artificially inflating his company’s stock price. In 2013, Sam Antar was sentenced to 21 months of jail time in federal court for stealing $225k in a fraudulent investment scheme. In April this year, he pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges. A month later, he was ordered to pay restitution to the victims of his crime. In an interview, he publicly apologized to everyone he hurt.
BetMGM Has No Law Duty to Prevent Problem Gamblers from Gambling
Sam Antar initially filed a lawsuit against MGM last September, accusing the company of fueling his gambling by offering him large bonuses. Antar also accused BetMGM of purposely disconnecting him from the games when he was winning. In May this year, the plaintiff revised his allegations and accused the company of preying on his gambling addiction, which is against New Jersey’s gambling laws. Antar’s lawyer Matthew Litt said the fact that the casino took advantage of a person with a gambling disorder is what is the most important in this case.
Antar’s lawsuit claims that he wagered nearly $30 million over 100,000 bets over a period of nine months in 2019. However, the documents do not provide information about the exact amount he lost. Litt could not specify how much Antar lost, too, but Antar’s previous lawyer claimed his client’s losses amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In its defense, BetMGM wrote that it is an avid advocate of responsible gambling and offers various self-reliant responsible gambling tools. The company also noted that the New Jersey law does not oblige operators to protect problem gamblers from their actions.
BetMGM also cited a case from 2008 in which New York gambler Arelia Taveras sued seven Atlantic City Casinos as she believed that the gambling venues had a law duty to stop her from gambling. U.S. District Court Judge Renee Bumb ruled against Taveras, explaining that she was aware of the risks and wagered the money of her own accord.