Poker Player Files $1.2m Lawsuit Against Borgata Over Lifetime Ban
The Borgata is facing another a lawsuit from a poker pro arising from a 2020 suicide joke which resulted in his lifetime ban from the casino. In his complaint filed in June at the New Jersey Superior Court, Scott Robbins, from Millbury, Massachusetts, claims that Borgata’s actions caused him emotional and physical distress, as well as loss of future profits and sponsorship deals.
In September 2020, Robbins arrived at the Borgata to compete in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Main Event. The poker pro won his way into the $3,500 tournament through a $400 satellite.
Upon checking into the hotel, Robbins had a short conversation with the desk clerk who asked him if he’d like a high floor or a low floor. He joked about jumping out of the window and asked the clerk if he would survive. The clerk answered, “No, don’t do that“. Robbins claims in his lawsuit that he was referring to earthquake or fire emergencies when he made the quip, but it didn’t land well with the hotel staff.
Robbins was assigned a room on the 30th floor anyway, but shortly after unpacking his belongings, armed security arrived, telling him that he must first meet with a psychiatrist to have his mental status assessed, or he would be escorted out of the hotel. A baffled Robbins complied with the request and took an ambulance which transported him to the nearby Atlanticare Regional Medical Center.
The psychiatrist later gave him the clearance, concluding that he did not pose a threat to himself or anyone. However, when Robbins returned to the Borgata, he was refused entry to his room and was told that he was banned for life from the establishment. He was also charged over $2,000 for the ambulance ride and the psychological examination.
As a result of the ban, the poker pro was not able to take part in the WPT Borgata Main Event, and was prohibited from all future tournaments at the casino.
Robbins Seeks $1.2M In Damages
The lawsuit claims that the lifetime ban led to Robbins losing $200,000 worth of individual and corporate sponsorships, and $850,000 in estimated 10-year profits at the casino.
Robbins is also accusing the Borgata of a list of violations, which include, among others, libel, slander and defamation, breach of contract, breach of civil rights, and interference with prospective economic advantage.
The complaint seeks $1,253,368.75 in exact amount of damages, but some of the alleged illegal acts committed by the casino could boost that figure, which means the Borgata could be forced to pay well over the initial $1.2 million sought by Robbins, if the poker pro eventually wins his case.