A man from New York City sues a casino from Atlantic City, including its online partner. He alleged that he was repeatedly disconnecting while gambling online which is very odd. He claims he was given payments to prevent him from reporting malfunctions to the New Jersey gambling regulators. This all happened in the span of nine months in which he gambled over 29 million dollars.
I hear you thinking, how does this man even get so much money that he can gamble $29 million? Well Sam Antar, also known as the nephew of co-founder of the company Crazy Eddie, who was a very wealthy man. He made his fortune with his company Crazy Eddie, which was and consumer electronics chain in the Northeastern United states. The chain rose to prominence throughout the Tristate area, what is made up of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as much for its prices as for its memorable radio and television commercials, featuring a crazy character played by radio DJ Jerry Carroll.
At the peak of the company, they had over 40 stores in four states and reported more than 300 million dollars in sales, so you can imagine his family members including this Sam Antar had money, big money.
But Eddie Antar didn’t always earn that money honestly. It was found out that he was guilty of fraud, and he could no longer talk himself out of it. But considering he was co-founder of Crazy Eddie, he was also a shareholder. He cashed in millions of dollars’ worth of stock and resigned from the company in December 1986.
In February 1987, the United States Attorney’s Office commenced a federal grand jury investigation on the company which lead to Eddie Antar. He was eventually charged with a series of fraud crimes, and he pleaded guilty 9 years later.
But this Antar, wasn’t involved in Crazy Eddie. However, he was charged with his own fraud charges. Sam Antar claimed he would invest money from Syrian Jewish people into companies about to go public and then to resell those shares back to the investors. But the claim against him says he used the funds to gamble and pay for his daughter’s wedding.
Sam Antar knows himself and says he’s a compulsive gambler. He just doesn’t know how to manage all the millions of dollars he earned in his life, so he started gambling as a pastime. He claims this was well-known to the defendants in this case because he put himself on the self-exclusion list for a period of time before he removed himself at the end of 2018. He claimed he would often spend up to 5000 dollars on a single bet. The defendants are Borgata Casino, MGM Resorts International and its online partner Entain.
Antar accuses the defendants of fraud, racketeering and other transgressions. More than 50% of the time he had a winning hand, he got disconnected. He told the casino about this and instead of fixing the problem, they kept doubling down giving him 30.000 dollars a month, just to feed him extra money to try and avoid scrutiny by the regulatory agencies.
In his lawsuit, Antar alleges that he warned numerous amounts of employees and officials of Borgata Casino’s companies that there was a serious problem with the disconnections especially when you were about to win, but that they knowingly kept malfunctioning games available to the public because they were too profitable for them to delete. This is strongly illegal.
Antar claims his complaints do have been filed with local regulators and VIP hosts, an online complaint portal, and even the president of the casino and the CEO of the mother company.
He also claims that the companies paid him bonuses totaling $30,000 per month to keep him playing and to entice him not to report problems with the games to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. His lawyer says Antar never contacted the enforcement department, which did not respond to requests for comment.
Antar was a live dealer blackjack and online slots gambler, he took gambling so far that sometimes he played 24 hours in a row, without any hours of sleep or sometimes he didn’t even eat. At his worst days he wagered more than 5 million dollars in 16 days. That is just absurd! During the period he had to hold back about the 30.000 dollars a month, which were 9 months, he made more than 100.000 bets. You can say Antar had a real gambling addiction.
Antar said employees did acknowledge that there were issues with the system, which affected other customers at the casinos as well. In a text and email conversation, Antar cites an employee telling him that “other players don’t come close to what you get” in terms of compensation for being kicked offline while gambling. So other people were also affected by the malfunction, but the casino refused to give them anything as long as they didn’t know it was a put-up job.
The lawsuit also references to a text message from an MGM representative that says, “OK, let’s do this: I want you to email me that we’re closing the case and you’re not will no longer contact (the Borgata president) or the DGE about the matter,” referring to the Division of Gaming Enforcement. Antar had no choice but to agree.
“I just had to keep gambling,” Antar told the authorities.
Nowadays Antar took a step back from gambling and is trying to better his life for his family, he wants to set a good example for his kids. He isn’t gambling anymore, he made his last bet on February 3rd, 2021.