No liability for MGM Grand Detroit
The MGM Grand Detroit casino is not liable for the $6m worth of losses that one gambler accumulated at its facility, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled.
The case involved Gino Accettola, 52, who was supposed to put the funds towards construction projects on behalf of a dozen investors. When he gambled them away on blackjack instead, the investors proceeded to file a lawsuit against the MGM Grand Detroit.
the casino acted completely in good faith
The appeals court upheld a previous ruling from the Wayne County Circuit Court, with the judges concluding that the casino acted completely in good faith. They also acknowledged that the MGM Grand had no awareness of the Accettola’s limited gambling competence and no idea what the funds were earmarked for.
The lawsuit against the casino
The lawsuit against the MGM Grand Detroit alleged the casino could have stopped Accettola from gambling away the $6 million intended for construction projects in Michigan and Florida back in 2014.
Accettola was convicted in 2018 of fraud for a separate crime and is serving a prison sentence. He will be in prison for between seven and 30 years for his financial crimes. During his trial, it was revealed he had gambled investors’ money at the Detroit casino.
While admittedly the casino could have conducted a credit check on Accettola at the time, the judges said it was still not liable for any losses he accrued while gambling at the premises.
The plaintiffs’ argument
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that if a background check had been conducted by the casino, it would have shown that Accettola was unemployed and had no way of verifying the source of the money. A check would have also revealed his “extensive criminal record” of larceny and identify theft, among other charges, as well as a long time spent in prison.
The investors’ attorney, Corey Silverstein, had also alleged that Accettola was “the worst gambler on the planet.” The judges noted that a casino is not accountable for judging of a gambler’s level of skill before accepting bets.
Accettola had been a frequent visitor to the MGM Grand Detroit for a number of years prior to the incident, which may explain why the casino did not run a customer background check on him.