Sports Bettor’s Lawsuit Against Delaware Casino Continues To Unfold

It appears there won't be an amicable resolution to a lawsuit over a felony theft charge against a sports bettor for taking an overpayment.

A legal dispute between a casino in the state of Delaware and gambler who was overpaid by the property’s sportsbook on a winning sports bet appears far from a resolution.

According to court filings this month, the case, Golding v. Dover Downs, Inc. et al, hasn’t been resolved and appears to be eventually heading toward a jury trial. Parties in the lawsuit have “determined after discussion that the matter cannot be resolved at this juncture by settlement, voluntary mediation, or binding arbitration,” states a court document filed Dec. 13 in federal court.

The case could take more than another 20 months to play out, according to the court document, with a discovery cut-off deadline set for the end of 2020. A trial is set for August 2021.

In March, attorneys for Davell A. Golding filed a lawsuit against the casino and the state of Delaware itself,  among others, for allegedly violating his “civil rights and common law rights” when he was briefly charged with felony theft stemming from the casino erroneously giving him more than he should have won on a $20 MLB parlay wager in 2018. Golding won the bet and was due $354.15. However, the casino paid him out $2,164.65 due to a cashier’s error, or $1,810.50 more than he was due for winning the bet.

The ticket stated the amount that Golding should have collected.

Golding’s ticket


The escalation

Golding was notified by state police via telephone about the casino’s payment error the same day he cashed the winning parlay ticket and, according to police, he acknowledged that he had been overpaid. According to police, he was informed that he had to return the money in a “timely manner” and that he would be charged with theft if he didn’t. According to police, he said he would return the money about a week later. He eventually returned the money about five weeks later, but that apparently that was too slow to avoid a warrant being issued for his arrest and the establishment of a criminal record.

Despite returning the cash, he received a lifetime ban from Dover Downs, according to the litigation. The pending criminal case against him was dismissed, but his legal representation has argued that there never should have been a criminal case against him stemming from the overpayment on the winning sports bet. The argument that taking an overpayment doesn’t constitute theft appears central to Golding’s case.

A warrant for his arrest was issued less than two weeks after he took the overpayment. Golding allegedly returned to the casino after the arrest warrant but didn’t return the money at that time. He was arrested at the property for felony theft. Attorneys for Golding are alleging false arrest and false imprisonment.

Attorneys for Golding are essentially saying that the response to the incident was heavy-handed and illegal. Dover Downs “was responsible for contacting [Golding] and seeking a resolution of the matter in accordance with the applicable gaming and lottery rules and regulations,” lawyers said in a court filing.

Golding is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, the expungement of his criminal background record stemming from the incident, and the lifting of his lifetime ban, according to the complaint.


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