Borgata Surprisingly Drops ‘Executive Poaching’ Lawsuit Against Atlantic City Rival Ocean Casino

  • A federal judge had recently ruled in favor of an amended Borgata complaint against Ocean
  • A May 3 filing said the court dismissed the case and claims of both parties without prejudice
  • According to the Garden State Gazette, the filing did not disclose the terms of the settlement
  • The lawsuit centered on ex-Borgata employees, one of whom handled the casino’s high rollers
  • In September 2020, a federal judge ordered an ex-Borgata employee to return a company phone
Borgata Atlantic City
Borgata has seemingly quit while ahead in a legal battle with Atlantic City casino rival Ocean Casino Resort, dropping its lawsuit regarding Ocean allegedly poaching Borgata executives. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Both parties settled their disputes

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has unexpectedly withdrawn its lawsuit against rival Atlantic City casino, Ocean Casino Resort. The element of surprise arises from the fact that the withdrawal comes less than two weeks after a federal judge ruled that Borgata’s amended “executive poaching” complaint filed against Ocean in February 2021 was acceptable.

Borgata first filed the lawsuit in Nevada back in August 2020, accusing Ocean of poaching key ex-Borgata marketing executives with the intention to “cripple” its operation.

According to the Garden State Gazette, a two-page document filed May 3 states that on “April 24, 2021, the parties settled their disputes amicably in a global situation Settlement agreement.”

case and the claims of the parties contained therein are dismissed without prejudice”

The filing added the “case and the claims of the parties contained therein are dismissed without prejudice.”

Terms of settlement not disclosed

According to the Garden State Gazette, Borgata and Ocean will be responsible for their own legal fees and expenses. The filing, however, states that the court maintains “jurisdiction over the enforcement and settlement of the settlement agreement.”

The Gazette reports that while the filing did not disclose terms of the settlement, Borgata “won legal action along the way.”

Borgata’s lawsuit centered primarily on William Callahan and Kelly Ashman Burke, two ex-Borgata executives hired by Ocean Casino Resort. The suit claimed Callahan was responsible for Borgata’s high rollers, who would shell out up to $4m per visit and netted the casino $25m per year.

Borgata officials said Callahan refused to return his casino-issued mobile phone, which held details on the high rollers’ spend, including betting preferences and how Borgata would soften the rules on some games for them.

Borgata quits while seemingly ahead

Why Borgata recently settled when they appeared to have the legal upper hand is unclear. Even in September 2020, a federal judge ordered Callahan to return Borgata’s cell phone.

A temporary restraining order also forbade Callahan and Ashman Burke from contacting their previous employer’s customers or using any of Borgata’s confidential information or trade secrets while working for Ocean.