4,000 poker players who entered in the first event at the Borgata Winter Poker Open have decided to file a class-action lawsuit against Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. The lawsuit is due to the players feeling it is unfair that the tournament got cancelled, travelled long distances and because of promises of winning a share of the $2 million guaranteed prize pool.
The lawsuit is lead by Egg Harbor Township resident Jacob Musterel and has been filed on behalf of the more than 4,000 players, who still haven't seen a refund or payout from the tournament as the prize pool money has been frozen while the investigations are still ongoing.
The lawsuit has been filed in Atlantic County Superior Court, where the lawyer, Bruce LiCausi, says that Borgata has committed fraud and neglected the event as well as accusing Borgata of not having supervised the event as they should have. The lawsuit is to get players a refund of their buy-ins as well as reimbursements towards other expenses such as travel costs and similar.
LiCausi said: “In my 31 years in practice, I have to say this is one of the cleanest claims we’ve had,” and continued:
“Borgata holds itself as a respected provider of poker tournaments. They might say this is a learning experience for them, and while that’s laudable, it’s at the expense of the thousands who traveled to Atlantic City and entered this tournament under the expectation that it would be run properly.”
Borgata refused to give any comments on the case to Press of Atlantic City, as they do not comment on cases that are still open to investigation from the police and directed them towards talking to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Spokeswoman for the Division, Kerry Langan, told POAC that the investigation is still ongoing and that a regulatory investigation should be finished shortly. The suspension order given to Borgata by the division is still in place, which means that Borgata still have to keep the prize money in escrow until the division provides further notice.
The lawsuit is aimed towards Borgata's security team, which the players found to be unprofessional. It says that several players noticed the counterfeit teams and foul play at the tables, but when informing the staff at Borgata they refused to stop the tournament. The claim also states that Borgata didn't count the chips in play regularly and allowed a rigged game to be played within their casino.
LiCausi said: “People went expecting a carefully supervised event. It’s time that Borgata work to resolve this,”
The police has not made any further releases towards who could be part of the scheme taking place in the event, besides Lusardi who was found flushing out counterfeit chips in his toilet. Lusardi is said to have bought plastic chips from Hong Kong and spray painted them in his bathroom at the Borgata Casino. Once he noticed the suspicion towards him, he decided to try and flush out the counterfeit chips in his toilet, which ultimately lead to his arrest.