‘Crazy Eddie’ Nephew Shifts Strategy In Lawsuit Against BetMGM

In amended complaint, Sam A. Antar’s suit now focuses on allegedly predatory behavior
roulette wheel

Five months ago, Sam A. Antar was down on his chips. 

The casino giant he was suing, BetMGM, filed a Dec. 6 response to Antar’s lawsuit in which the defendant’s lawyers called him “a convicted felon and repeat fraudster who has pled guilty to defrauding numerous individuals out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in false stock investment schemes.” Then, on Dec. 9, Antar — a member of one of the New York City area’s best-known white-collar crime families — was sentenced to three years in New Jersey state prison for stealing $800,000 in clients’ money he’d promised to invest, instead using it to fuel his massive gambling addiction.

But as spring has sprung, so too have Antar’s spirits. First and foremost, he’s no longer incarcerated, having been released on probation on March 28. And in regard to his ongoing civil suit, he’s moved on from his old attorney and hired a new one, Matthew Litt, who on Monday filed an amended complaint that narrows the scope of Antar’s allegations against BetMGM.

Antar’s lawsuit focuses on a period of several months in 2019 and 2020 during which he claims to have gambled close to $30 million through a series of more than 100,000 bets placed largely through BetMGM’s mobile casino. In his original complaint, he said that he was frequently disconnected, “oftentimes in the midst of favorable hands,” while playing on BetMGM’s iCasino platform. He claimed that in order to avoid having Antar report these malfunctions to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, two VIP representatives from BetMGM plied him with betting bonuses, thus exploiting his extreme compulsion for gambling, which he said he expressed to BetMGM personnel in no uncertain terms.

Antar’s lawsuit states that, all told, he and BetMGM personnel exchanged more than 1,800 text messages from June 2019 through January 2020, and that BetMGM representatives kept texting him with “relentless enticements” even after he said he intended to quit gambling.

Antar’s original complaint contained 10 counts, including civil conspiracy, breach of contract, and RICO Act violations. The amended complaint does away with seven of those 10 counts and makes no mention of Antar getting disconnected while gambling online. Instead, it accuses BetMGM of negligence, unjust enrichment, and violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, and focuses squarely on the interactions between BetMGM’s VIP hosts and Antar.

Calling the in-game disconnection element of the original complaint “a distraction,” Litt said he chose to narrow the suit’s scope “to focus on what we thought was important not just to Sammy, but to bettors everywhere.”

Antar’s attorney added, “The complaint alleges that the casinos, through this VIP host, are predatory. Through these text messages, it was clear to the casinos that Sam was a problem gambler, and these enticements to continue gambling kept coming.”

To this end, the amended complaint claims that, since March 30 of this year (or two days after Antar was released from prison), “the Defendants have sent Plaintiff at least nine emails offering deposit matches, boosts, bonuses, and other offers with subject headings such as ‘The Offer You Have Been Waiting For Is Here!'”

Meanwhile, in Michigan

The pivot by Antar’s legal team comes as another iCasino suit involving BetMGM, this one filed in Michigan, clings to life.

In March of 2021, Jacqueline Davis reportedly placed a bet of $50 and spun the virtual wheel of BetMGM’s “Luck O’ the Roulette” game online. She claims to have played the game for five consecutive days, growing her winnings to $11 million before stopping while still up $3 million.

Davis then allegedly swung by MGM’s Grand Detroit casino to collect her winnings and was given $100,000. When she went back the following day to collect the rest of the $3 million, she was told her winnings came as a result of a “glitch” in the game and that she wouldn’t be seeing another penny.

A few days after Davis’ epic run at the digital roulette wheel, BetMGM reported this supposed malfunction to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which ultimately found the casino company to be in violation of a pair of state regulations. In the eyes of the MGCB, BetMGM did not “immediately notify the Board, in writing, of any defects or malfunctions of the internet gaming platform,” nor did they inform Davis that she had the right to submit a complaint to the board.

The MGCB elected not to “pursue formal disciplinary action” against BetMGM, but warned the company that if it slipped up again, it could be subject to such punishment.

Like Antar, Davis wound up suing BetMGM, which, through a spokesperson, declined to comment for this story. That suit, which was dismissed in county court in 2022, is now headed for the Court of Appeals. Davis’ attorney, David Steingold, said the county judge seemed to go along with BetMGM’s argument that the MGCB was the final arbiter in this situation, and that the board’s ruling rendered Davis’ lawsuit moot.

“I think her reasoning is skewed,” Steingold said of the judge. “Fundamental justice requires that you have a means to litigate the dispute you have with a casino. If the casino’s contention is correct on this, you have no right to sue a casino for obvious fraud.”

Photo: Ole Spata/picture alliance via Getty Images


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