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NYC man claims BetMGM paid him $30K to keep quiet over online glitches

A New York City man filed a lawsuit in New Jersey against MGM Resorts International and some of its affiliates and partners this week, alleging he was paid $30,000 a month not to tell New Jersey gaming regulators that he was repeatedly disconnected while gambling online.

Sam Antar filed the lawsuit Wednesday in state Superior Court in Middlesex County. Antar, a convicted fraudster who faces the prospect of additional prison time in November, said he is well-known as a compulsive gambler by MGM, its Borgata resort in Atlantic City and BetMGM and Entain Plc. affiliates.

MGM had no comment on the lawsuit Friday.

According to the lawsuit, Antar, a live blackjack and online slot machine player, gambled more than $29 million over nine months, getting disconnected from the BetMGM system every 15 minutes or so. His lawsuit accuses the defendants of fraud, racketeering and other transgressions, saying he was paid to not talk to New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement regulators about his high rate of being disconnected from the BetMGM system.

Antar’s lawsuit said he had thousands of disconnections from the online platforms, often when he had a winning hand that was then wiped out.

His lawyer, Christopher Gramiccioni, told The Associated Press that Antar experienced a disconnection rate of nearly 50 percent during the nine months covered by the lawsuit. He added Antar, 46, had lost “easily hundreds of thousands of dollars” during that time.

“It’s one thing if you have technical issues intermittently,” Gramiccioni told the AP. “It is quite another when you have them 50 percent of the time. The casino did not take corrective action as required. They kept doubling down and giving him $30,000 a month, feeding him extra money to try to avoid scrutiny by the regulatory agencies.”

In 2013, Antar was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for taking $225,000 in a fraudulent investment scheme, the AP reported.

“I’ve been in prison once, and I’m probably facing prison again, and it all had to do with me not being able to admit to myself I was a compulsive gambler,” Antar said in an interview with the AP on Thursday. “When I look at what I did, I’m sick about it. A lot of people have this problem and they need help.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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