Federal Judge Rules Against Compulsive Gambler in Casino Lawsuit

A recent legal case in New Jersey brought forth a critical question: are casinos obligated to prevent compulsive gamblers from placing bets? This dilemma was presented to a federal judge, who ultimately concluded that there is no legal requirement for casinos to refuse wagers from problem gamblers.

Following a lawsuit filed by a New Jersey resident against Borgata casino and its parent company MGM Resorts, the court deliberated on whether the casino had a duty to prevent the plaintiff, who struggled with a gambling addiction, from participating in betting activities. However, U.S. District Court Judge Madeline Cox ruled that New Jersey laws do not explicitly prohibit casinos from accepting wagers from individuals with compulsive gambling tendencies.

Lack of Legal Prohibition

Despite comprehensive regulations governing the gambling industry, Judge Cox highlighted the absence of specific provisions that mandate casinos to refrain from catering to compulsive gamblers. She emphasized that while New Jersey laws extensively regulate casinos’ obligations concerning problem gambling, they do not explicitly address whether casinos can actively encourage individuals with gambling addiction to gamble.

The court’s decision referenced past cases where compulsive gamblers and individuals under the influence of alcohol sued casinos to recover losses, but failed to secure favorable rulings. Similar legal challenges have been dismissed in various states, signaling a consistent stance on the issue across the country.

The plaintiff in this case, Sam Antar, is known for his familial ties to the Crazy Eddie electronics chain’s founder, Eddie Antar. Additionally, a recent lawsuit in Nevada highlights similar concerns, as a high-stakes blackjack player sued MGM for alleged drugging with ketamine, seeking $75 million in damages.

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