Judge Dismisses Class Action Poker Lawsuit Against Borgata CasinoAugust 11, 2016 11:08 am
What should have been another well-organized poker tournament by the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City turned into a debacle after one of the players, Christian Lusardi, was found to have brought counterfeit chips to the $560 buy-in event. The 2014 tournament was subsequently cancelled, with 2,143 players receiving their initial investments from the $2 million prize pool, and the last 27 players standing awarded $19,232 a piece.
Nevertheless, the Borgata Winter Poker Open’s last surviving 27 players felt cheated out of the opportunity to compete for the event’s roughly $300,000 first place prize, and so banded together to bring a class action lawsuit against The Borgata’s owner – Marina District Finance Co. Inc.
At the heart of their lawsuit was the claim that after the deception had been discovered the Borgata had failed to act in a timely fashion, despite the fact the tournament officials and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement both believed that they did a good job of resolving the issue. Now, the matter has been settled for good, after an Appellate court on August, 1st, stated that there was no legal basis for the plaintiffs to pursue their claims. Summing up the case, the judge said:
“Although plaintiffs’ disappointing experience in this aborted tournament is regrettable, the Division’s response to the situation was fair, and plaintiffs present no legal basis for their claims seeking further enhancement of their recovery.”
In the meantime, the player behind the scandal (photo) is serving a stiff sentence for all the trouble he caused, and in October 2015 was given a five-year prison sentence, and ordered to pay $463,540 in restitution. After cashing out of the tournament for a min-cash of $6,814, Lusardi tried to dispose of his millions of dollars in fake chips by flushing them down the toilet. The blocked plumbing then resulted in his scheme being unearthed, and commenting at the time NJ State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes stated:
“Lusardi was playing with dirty money long before he flushed those chips down the toilet. Today’s sentence, which includes substantial restitution, should serve as a warning to anyone considering similar schemes.”