Sam Antar is suing BetMGM, with MGM claiming they fueled his betting problem

Published on: September 29, 2022, 02:40 am.

Last update: 29 September 2022, 02:40.

Sam Antar is suing BetMGM, claiming the online gaming company denied him access to his winnings while luring him to stay with bonuses, exploding his compulsive gambling habit in the process.

Sam Antar in a 2019 NYPD photo. He is suing BetMGM, alleging fraud and negligence. (Image: New York City Police Department)

In a lawsuit filed yesterday in New Jersey Superior Court, Antar said he experienced frequent technology glitches while playing blackjack and other casino games through BetMGM, adding that those glitches usually occurred while he had winning hands . The complainant added that frequently the internet casino would not allow him to withdraw winnings unless he made new deposits to his betting account.

The suit names BetMGM, Borgata Hotel-Casino, Entain Plc (OTC:GMVHY) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) as defendants. MGM and Entain each control 50% of BetMGM. The Borgata, which Antar claims to have visited dozens of times, is the Nevada casino company’s only location on New Jersey’s Atlantic City Boardwalk.

The civil suit alleges BetMGM violated various consumer fraud, gross negligence and racketeering laws. Previously, Antar had his own run-in with the authorities. In 2019, New Jersey prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged him with defrauding family and friends in a financial scheme, using the proceeds to fund his compulsive gambling habit.

Antar is the grandson of the late Eddie Antar – owner of Crazy Eddie electronics retailers that were ubiquitous in the Northeast in the 1970s and 1980s. Elder Antar cooked the books at his company, defrauding investors along the way. Before his death in 2016, he helped companies identify corporate fraud and spoke publicly on the subject..

Antar was a devoted customer of BetMGM

In the court document, Antar’s attorney claims that in a nine-month period from May 2009 to January 2020, the plaintiff wagered $29 million with BetMGM. It is not clear how much of that amount was wagered at the Borgata, although it is estimated that he visited the Boardwalk casino 30 times while an MGM customer.

During that nine-month period, Antar often played six to eight hours a day on BetMGM in New Jersey, placing more than 100,000 bets at $5,000 per hand, according to the lawsuit. He claims that during that time he experienced “thousands” of internet disconnections and was denied favorable payments when he was. Antar also claims that he frequently doubled hands – a commonly used blackjack tactic – and when he won, BetMGM would not pay him accordingly.

The complaint also states that on several occasions, Antar attempted to withdraw the winnings from his account and was unable to do so unless he made new deposits. He further alleges that after contacting the gaming company and telling staff there that he intended to take his concerns to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), BetMGM engaged in a “scheme corrupt” to “bribe” him with daily bonuses totaling more. of $30,000 a month to compel him not to contact regulators.

BetMGM is the largest US internet casino company and the second largest online sports betting operator. New Jersey is one of six states that allow regulated online casino gaming. The others are Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

This is not the first time for BetMGM

BetMGM has been down this road before. A kind of. Last year, a Michigan woman claimed she won $3 million playing roulette at BetMGM after turning $50 into up to $11 million. Her suit indicates she went to the MGM Grand in Detroit and received $100,000 in cash. She returned the next day for the remaining $2.9 million and the gambling company allegedly refused, citing a technical fault.

However, the courts’ treatment of these cases may differ. As for Antar, he was on a self-exclusion list because of his gambling habit, but he removed himself from that list in 2018, according to his legal complaint.

In 2019, he began betting heavily with MGM, achieving Noir status in the MGM Rewards program – the highest level. Antar claims that BetMGM and MGM were aware of his betting problem and related vulnerabilities. Convincing a judge or jury of gambling company abuse could prove difficult.

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