What would you do if a gambling or non-gambling online game disconnected you so often that it was almost unplayable? Sam Antar of New York City believes that the solution is to continue playing. Antar claims that MGM Resorts International, its Borgata casino property, international partner Entain, and online gambling brand BetMGM paid him $30,000 each month to be silent, and he is now suing them.
Antar alleges in a case filed in state Superior Court in Middlesex (New Jersey) County that he spent over $29 million over a nine-month period on live blackjack and online slots while losing his connection to BetMGM every 15 minutes. He says he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result, claiming that he was often in the midst of a winning hand when he was removed off the site.
Christopher Gramiccioni, Antar’s attorney, told the Associated Press, “It’s one thing if you have technical troubles sporadically.” “It is quite different when you have them 50% of the time. The casino did not take the appropriate remedial steps. They continued to provide him with $30,000 every month in an effort to evade regulatory bodies’ inspection.
Antar claims he called (or attempted to contact) various individuals and departments with the connection issues, including supervisors and VIP hosts, online customer care, and the casino’s president and MGM’s CEO.
To make things worse, Antar said that MGM and its affiliates are aware of his gambling addiction. Sometimes he played for 24 hours straight. In January 2020, at his height, he wagered more than $5 million in 16 days.
Antar said in the complaint that MGM personnel was aware of the connectivity issues and that others were also experiencing difficulties. An staffer reportedly informed Antar on July 17, 2019, through e-mail and text message, in reference to the $30,000 per month he claims to have been given, that “other players are not receiving anything near what you are getting.”
Antar asserts that he was compensated not to disclose the recurring problems to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and he obliged.
If his name seems familiar, it is because many New Yorkers recognize it. Eddie Antar, proprietor of the renowned Crazy Eddie electronics shops, was his uncle. Eddie was also notorious for defrauding $74 million from investors.
It seems that Sam has followed in the footsteps of his uncle. In 2013, he was convicted of defrauding investors of $250,000 and sentenced to 21 months in jail. Antar may be incarcerated again after pleading guilty to theft by deceit for stealing money from friends and relatives to fund his gambling addiction.
“I’ve been in prison once, and I’m probably facing prison again, and it all had to do with me not being able to admit to myself I was a compulsive gambler,” Antar told the AP. “When I look at what I did, I’m sick about it. A lot of people have this problem and they need help.”