Poker player who sued the Golden Nugget gets an interim win in court

Posted on: July 24, 2020 11:33 PDT

A New Jersey court agrees that a poker player’s fraud lawsuit against the casino can proceed

When gambling matters are taken to court, they’re not always easy to sustain, but a recent case involving a poker player suing a casino over a poker tournament just scored a win in court this past Wednesday. A player from Vermont felt that New Jersey's Golden Nugget casino did him wrong, and the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey agreed. According to the court's ruling, the law doesn't prevent poker player Michael Bandler from pursuing this fraud claim against the casino in a dispute over an event that took place in 2015.

"The sole issue presented in this appeal is whether the Casino Control Act, which grants the Division of Gaming Enforcement (Division) authority to regulate gaming-related advertising, preempts plaintiff’s consumer fraud and common law action alleging a casino hotel falsely advertised a poker tournament. We conclude the action is not preempted. We, therefore, reverse the summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint on that ground, and remand for further proceedings," stated the 17-page opinion.

In 2015, Bandler traveled to the casino to take a seat at the "Grand Poker Series," a tournament festival that was slated to take place over ten days and offered 12 different events with a variety of buy-in fees. Bandler claims that the advertisement for the poker series said "$150,000 IN PRIZE MONEY," so he traveled out of the state to play. One of the events he entered was canceled due to not having met the minimum quota of players, and he received only "a portion of the limited prize money generated by the entry fees that the casino collected," as per casino rules. He was not satisfied with the result; therefore, he filed a complaint, alleging violation of the Consumer Fraud Act. The court’s decision now allows the case to proceed.