Eugene Melnyk Files Plausible Defenses for $900,000 Gambling Debt, Casino Lawsuit Ongoing

  • Ottawa Senators owner owes Mohegan Sun Casino $900,000 plus interest
  • Gambling debt racked up in 2017 after five bank drafts sent to casino bounced
  • Defense attorney provides various possible explanations for unpaid debt
  • Casino not allowing Melnyk to cash out winnings, cashing drafts after expiry among reasons
man in suit in sports changing rooms
The Ottawa Senators owner, Eugene Melnyk, has given a few explanations as to why he has yet to settle his $900,000 casino debt with the Mohegan Sun Casino. [Image: twitter.com/melnykeugene]

NHL team owner explains himself

The owner of the Ottawa Senators NHL team, Eugene Melnyk, has provided a number of explanations as to why he has not paid his $900,000 gambling debts to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.

Melnyk’s attorney, Jonathan Katz, filed a number of plausible defenses with the New London Superior Court. These could all feature in the motion to dismiss the casino lawsuit, which is expected to be filed soon. 

Ongoing lawsuit

In the lawsuit that is ongoing, it is alleged that Melnyk did not honor his obligations of $900,000 worth of casino credit, which he gambled away at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun casino in 2017. 

Melnyk did not honor his obligations of $900,000 worth of casino credit

Melnyk gave five different bank drafts to the casino to pay his debts, but each of them subsequently bounced. In addition to the $900,000 debt, the Mohegan Sun casino is also looking for an additional $179,800 in interest and fees.

Possible explanations

One of the potential explanations Melnyk gives is that the casino took until September 2017 to cash the bank drafts, which had a March date on them. This implies the drafts were stale, and therefore not cashable. 

Another possible point presented in Melnyk’s defense is that his signature on the bank drafts was questionable in appearance. This may have led bankers to question the legitimacy of these bank drafts. 

casino facility did not allow Melnyk to cash out his winnings in spite of his request to do so

The defense team also suggest the casino may have enticed Melnyk to continue gambling because, at a certain stage, he had won a lot of money at the establishment. Katz also claims the casino facility did not allow Melnyk to cash out his winnings in spite of his request to do so. Following the denial of this request, Melnyk suffered significant losses.

Track record

One of the richest people in Canada with an estimated net worth of $910m, Melnyk has a track record of allegedly not repaying his debts. 

In September, he made a court appearance regarding another unpaid debt. A charter flight service was holding Melnyk’s private jet while claiming he owed them $693,000 for storage, maintenance, and operating costs.

Other past transgressions include him and his company Biovial getting sued by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for accounting fraud in 2008. This led to a $7.5m settlement. In 2011, Melnyk was banned from holding a key role in a public company in Canada.