Atlantic City Judge Rules Casinos are Not Obligated to Stop Compulsive Gamblers From Betting.

02/06/2024
Industry
Online Casino New Jersey

Highlights

  • US District Court Judge Madeline Cox Arleo dismissed the lawsuit on January 31.
  • New Jersey casinos do not have a legal duty to cut off compulsive gamblers.
  • Similar lawsuits have been dismissed previously in the state.

New Jersey casinos have no legal obligation to stop a compulsive gambler from participating in betting according to a recent ruling by a US District Court Judge. Just a few days ago, Judge Madeline Cox Arleo dismissed a lawsuit against the Borgata Casino and its parent company, MGM Resorts International, suggesting the casino gave him offers despite the fact they knew he was a compulsive gambler.

No Legal Duty to Cut Off Compulsive Gamblers  

The judge ruled that casinos like the Borgata do not have a legal duty to stop compulsive gamblers from placing wagers. The state law regulates casinos' responsibilities regarding compulsive gamblers but does not state that such operators must stop such players from patronizing their business.

The case was brought on by Sam Antar, who said that his compulsive behavior was known and the casino did nothing to stop him from harm. After the ruling was decided, Antar stated that the law should be changed to protect players like himself. He also plans to appeal the decision in the case.

He says the case is not just about him but people across the United States who have a gambling addiction. He wants to know when the country is going to address the issue. Antar is from New York and visited New Jersey for nine months in 2019. In that time frame, he gambled $30 million over 100,000 bets.

How much Antar lost has not been specified, but the bet amount alone is astonishing. His attorney said Antar lost at least six figures from the sessions.

Similar Lawsuits Have Also Been Dismissed 

In the case, the judge quoted two other cases in New Jersey that involved compulsive gambling and a drunken player. Both lawsuits were dismissed, along with others across the US. The judge wrote in her ruling that the state legislature has yet to see it fit for casinos to prevent or stop gambling by those who exhibit problem gambling behavior.

Based on the law, the defendants in this case, and others, do not owe a negligence common law duty of care to the plaintiffs. Atlantic City casinos and those across the nation have programs in place where players can exclude themselves from gaming. Self-exclusion can be done online or in-person to help players avoid the temptation of gambling.

Casinos are alerted once a person is on the self-exclusion list in New Jersey. They have a duty of care to ensure the player does not have access to services. If not, the operator is subject to fines and other issues.

The law currently does not give patrons any support when it comes to blocking of services by operators. Casinos do not have any duty to stop a compulsive gambler. They do have a duty to provide support for those in need of assistance, but the gamblers must set themselves up on the self-exclusion program.

There are plenty of service options for assistance with a gambling problem, but the individual must take the appropriate steps to stop the activity and seek support. The gambler must take the first step to seek the help they need for a gambling addiction.

It will be interesting to see if this case will create any changes to the law. Will Antar take his case back to court and have a shot at winning a second time around? Will lawmakers see the case as a need to create more laws to help with problem gambling?

Having started in 2005 as an online writer, Sadonna has focused on the online gambling industry, with a keen knowledge of various subjects. Sadonna has followed the growing US-based gambling industry for decades, covering all the legal changes in the nation as well as information on land-based and online casinos. She enjoys updating fellow gamblers on new games, casino bonuses, and additional information for premium gaming services. In her spare time, Sadonna loves spending time with her family and singing on Smule. Sadonna hopes to continue working in the online gambling industry and building quality articles for players to learn more about the US market.