A New York man is suing online gambling operator BetMGM for giving him bonuses in the hope of keeping him quiet regarding glitches.
The lawsuit, filed in New Jersey on Wednesday, details many occasions when Sam A. Antar was playing online blackjack and other casino games through BetMGM when they disconnected in the middle of gameplay. He believes these outages occurred thousands of times in the period between May 2019 and January 2020.
wagers sometimes reaching $5,000 per hand
Antar placed more than 100,000 online wagers during this period, with the wagers sometimes reaching $5,000 per hand. He said the glitches occurred roughly every 15 to 20 minutes. According to the lawsuit filing, Antar learned that other BetMGM users had made similar complaints about mid-game glitches.
The gambler claims BetMGM offered him bonuses to ensure that he wouldn’t inform the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement about the outages.
A serious gambler
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Antar believes that BetMGM did not immediately resolve the glitches because of they were making a profit. Sometimes the disconnections occurred during favorable hands for the plaintiff, leading him to lose out on potential winnings. Antar also outlined how he could not get access to winnings until he made further account deposits, which fuelled his gambling addiction. Over a period of just nine months, Antar placed more than $29m worth of wagers.
Antar received more than $30,000 worth of bonus money
When he reported the glitches to BetMGM corporate executives and account managers, Antar alleges he would often receive bonuses. On one occasion, he said he played a hand of blackjack online with a BetMGM executive to showcase the issues. At one stage, Antar received more than $30,000 worth of bonus money from BetMGM in a month.
As New York does not currently have legal online casinos, Antar would travel to New Jersey to gamble online. Numerous locations of Antar’s online gambling sessions are listed in the lawsuit, including a couple of rest stops in the Garden State. Antar noted that he had previously enrolled in a voluntary New Jersey self-exclusion program for gambling addicts. He subsequently removed his name from the list but confirmed that BetMGM was aware of his past gambling issues.
A colorful history
The plaintiff in the lawsuit certainly doesn’t have a squeaky clean past, according to the WSJ.
In 2019, the US Securities and Exchange Commission and prosecutors in New Jersey accused him of defrauding family and friends through an investment scheme. He pled guilty to a charge of second-degree theft by deception. Before that, he spent 21 months in prison for taking a six-figure sum as part of another investment scam, using some of the money for gambling purposes.