Mohegan Sun Casino Sues Eugene Melnyk for $900,000

  • Connecticut casino filed gambling debt case against Canadian billionaire and NHL team owner
  • Melnyk allegedly issued casino a series of drafts and failed to release payment funds
  • The accused's representative lawyer says suit is expected to reach "a swift result"
famous sports man walking through crowd
The Mohegan Sun casino has sued Eugene Melynk for allegedly failing to settle unpaid drafts amounting to CAD900,000. [Image: nhl.com]

Lawsuit filed against NHL team owner

The Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut is suing the owner of the hockey team Ottawa Senators after he ran up a gambling debt in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It has emerged that the lawsuit was filed in June by the Mohegan Sun against billionaire Eugene Melnyk, who currently owns the National Hockey League team.

$900,000 Canadian dollars (USD678,915) of gambling debt

He is alleged to have issued the casino a series of drafts only for a bank in Toronto, then failed to release the funds. The suit, filed in the New London Superior Court, puts the figure owed as CAD900,000 (USD678,915).

While Canadian by birth, Melynk is currently registered as living in Barbados. His worth is estimated at CAD1.2bn (USD910m) according to the Canadian Business magazine. Back in 2018, the publication included Melynk in its list of Canada’s 100 wealthiest people, placing him in 92nd place.

A series of unpaid drafts

The 60-year-old first came into money through the pharmaceutical industry, where he was the founder, former chairman, and CEO of Biovail Corporation. The company was later acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Since 2003, he is the owner of the NHL’s Ottawa franchise.

According to the suit, the billionaire made one unpaid draft on March 17, 2017, followed by four more on March 19 of the same year. These totaled CAD200,000 (USD150,000) each with a further CAD100,000 (USD75,000) added. Three of the drafts were made late at night on March 19 between 11.07pm and 11.57pm.

An attorney for the casino has said in an affidavit that they are aware that Melynk has spoken to his corporate lawyer about the suit. None of the parties have so far commented, although Melnyk’s representative Sheldon Plener has told Ottawa Matters that:

We cannot comment other than to say we expect a swift result.”

The Mohegan Sun has said it does not discuss litigation that is active.

Previous accounting trouble

Melynk has been in trouble with the law before. In 2008, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued him and his company Biovail for accounting fraud. He went on to settle with the SEC for CAD10m (USD7.5m).

In 2011, it was announced that Melnyk was banned by the Ontario Securities Commission from key roles at public companies in Canada. The judgment was to be in place for five years, with the billionaire also fined CAD565,000 (USD426,000).