The casino giant claims it did nothing wrong when the ‘fraudster’ gambled online

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ATLANTIC CITY, NJ Gambling giant MGM Resorts International says it has done nothing wrong in its dealings with a New York City man who accuses it of exploiting its gambling addiction with repeated cash bonuses meant to keep playing.

In court documents, MGM says Sam Antar, a twice-jailed “con man” who has repeatedly victimized friends, relatives and strangers, is engaging in “his latest scheme” by falsely accusing MGM of wrongdoing.

MGM is asking a federal judge to dismiss Antar’s lawsuit and refer the matter to arbitration, which it says is required by the terms of service Antar agreed to when it opened an online gaming account with the company.

The company also denies that it violated New Jersey laws.

“Sam Antar is a convicted felon and repeat offender who pleaded guilty to defrauding numerous individuals out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in phony stock investment schemes,” MGM wrote in its June 9 response to Antar’s litigation, filed in the United States District Court in New Jersey.

“Rather than accepting responsibility for his actions, Antar blames BetMGM for his crimes, falsely claiming that BetMGM preyed on his alleged gambling addiction.”

The company has not responded to requests for comment beyond what is contained in its court filing.

Antar is the grandson of Eddie Antar, who founded Crazy Eddie electronics stores in the 1970s and 80s. Eddie Antar defrauded investors of more than $74 million and died in 2016.

In 2013, Sam Antar was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for taking $225,000 in a fraudulent investment scheme. He was convicted and jailed last year on nearly $350,000 theft and deception charges. In April, he admitted to committing federal securities fraud to defraud investors, including friends stemming from the same case, and in May he was ordered to pay restitution.

“I’d like to publicly apologize to all the people I’ve hurt,” she said in an interview Wednesday.

His initial lawsuit, filed last September, accused MGM of offering him bonus money to dissuade him from reporting to New Jersey gambling regulators numerous instances in which he gambled online and was frequently logged out of the system when he had a hand. winning.

His revised lawsuit, filed in May, drops those charges and focuses on what his attorney Matthew Litt calls “what’s really important here to society as a whole: the casino’s grooming of a person who He was showing signs of being a problem gambler.”

Antar, who has homes in New York and Long Branch, New Jersey, gambled $30 million on 100,000 bets during nine months in 2019, according to his lawsuit, which doesn’t specify how much he actually lost. Litt would not have estimated those losses, although a previous attorney in the Antar case said they amounted to “easily hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

In its response, MGM says it has not created or worsened a gambling problem in Antar or anyone else.

“Indeed, BetMGM takes problem gambling seriously and offers numerous options to self-exclude or limit your gambling, as well as support resources,” the company wrote. “However, New Jersey law does not include a common law obligation to protect problem gamblers from their actions.

“Despite heightened sensitivity to problem gambling, New Jersey courts have repeatedly held that casinos have no common law obligation to prevent alleged ‘compulsive gamblers’ from gambling,” MGM wrote.

The latest version of Antar’s lawsuit makes some of the same claims that were raised and denied by a judge in another person’s lawsuit against Atlantic City casinos. In 2008, a federal judge ruled against New York City gambler Arelia Taveras, who sued seven casinos that she said had a duty to stop her from gambling. She lost nearly $1 million in two years, including days gambling binges.

“He spent money on the good faith chance that he could win more money,” US District Court Judge Renee Bumb wrote in a 2008 ruling. “In short, he gambled. defendants have profited from his misfortune, while regrettable, does not establish a recognizable right in the law.”

MGM cites that case among its many defenses to the Antar Litigation.

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