Poker Pro Drops $1.25 Million Lawsuit Against Atlantic City Casino Over Lifetime Ban

Last year, professional poker player Scott Robbins filed a 7-figure lawsuit against the Borgata Hotel after being kicked off the property before being handed a lifetime ban over a bad joke. Just recently, Robbins dropped his lawsuit voluntarily after reaching an agreement with the hotel. Based on court records, the 2 parties entered into a settlement earlier this September and since there was no filing made with the District Court of New Jersey, this implies that Robbins dropped the case voluntarily.

Reports from a popular poker forum claim that Robbins was offered 3 different settlement offers by Borgata. The exact details of the settlement were not disclosed. However, Robbins was originally suing Borgata for $1.25 million. Robbins, a Massachusetts resident, sued Borgata in June for a number of cases including false imprisonment, defamation, as well as civil rights violations.

Borgata banned Robbins in 2019 after he made an off-color suicide joke. Robbins was banned after he made an off-hand remark to the front office clerk at the hotel. According to the hotel staff, Robins asked the clerk about jumping from the hotel room window, thus suggesting that he might commit suicide.


What other things will get you banned from a casino for life?

Millions of people visit casinos each year. For most people, visiting a brick-and-mortar casino is a great escape- a wonderful and exciting way to have fun on a night out with friends. During such instances, it doesn’t really matter if you end up losing or winning a couple of hundreds here and there. However, like any other public business, retail casinos have strict rules that must be adhered to.

Believe it or not, it is quite common for gamblers to be kicked out of casinos. For instance, gamblers are often banned from casinos for drunken behavior. If players are too unruly or abusive to other customers and staff members, this can get them ejected. In some states such as Nevada, unruly behavior in casinos can even carry a hefty fine and in some instances, short jail sentences as well.

Abuse of staff, management, or croupiers is also something else that is not tolerated in most casinos. Even though it is quite common to lose in casinos, players are never allowed to lose their cool on the dealers or management. Any harassment of staff members- even making off-hand jokey comments can result in a ban. This explains why the Borgata hotel was so harsh on Robbins for making his ‘suicide’ joke.

Threatening a casino employees’ life- even if it is meant in jest- will also ensue in a life ban. Casinos with poker rooms also do not tolerate the use of offensive or obscene language. In such instances, the use of foul language can result in a penalty such as being excluded from play for a few of the rounds.

Trying to beat the casino with a system also almost always results in a ban. For instance, one British punter playing roulette won £28,000 by using his special no-lose system. The super gambler, Balvinder Sambhi, claims that his system of using simple mathematics to succeed at roulette caused him to get banned from almost every casino that he has ever been to. 

 Card counters, although extremely rare these days, are also not welcome to casino floors. These days, shuffling machines have advanced greatly, which has made it harder for card counters to succeed. For instance, card counting or edge shorting is exactly what landed poker pro-Phil Ivey in court in 2017. The world-famous poker pro was penalized for using his ingenious- yet prohibited- system to exploit the high-stakes card game Baccarat. If you are an avid poker pro, then you know that baccarat unlike poker requires no skill, intuition, or creativity. 

Unlike other card games like blackjack, baccarat players do not perform better with a well-rehearsed wagering strategy- unless you are Phil Ivey. In 2012, Ivey reportedly played marathon rounds of baccarat in a series of casinos in both the UK and New Jersey. In 4 trips to Borgata Hotel in AC, Ivey is said to have raked approximately $9.6 million while he netted an additional $10 million at Crockfords in London.

After each of the casinos cried foul and carried out investigations, it was discovered that Ivey had been using a system known as edge shorting. Ivey did not deny using this technique even though the casinos classified the act as cheating. However, after a long and drawn-out case, a federal court in the Garden State eventually sided with Borgata while a British court did the same, thus demanding that the player return any winnings that he had collected.

Instances of money laundering or any ill acquired gains through casinos are also worthy of a lifetime ban. In some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, it is not unheard of for major casinos to be accused of allowing criminal gangs to launder their money. Making huge deposits followed by long and unusual gambling binges before withdrawals are made often results in a ban, as well as criminal investigations in most instances.

But it is not just brick and mortar casinos that have strict rules. Online casinos also have myriad rules that if broken, can result in a lifetime ban. For instance, registering while underage will typically result in a ban. Other offenses that will get one excluded from a casino include using someone else’s ID or creating multiple accounts in the hopes of taking advantage of the different welcome bonuses is also something that casinos frown upon.


Final Thoughts

When blacklisted or banned by a casino, one is not allowed to set foot into the property. Casinos use a range of tactics these days to keep records of blacklisted gamblers through photo IDs, as well as sophisticated fingerprint and facial recognition technology. If one attempts to re-renter the casino after a lifetime ban, it could result in harsher punishment and even incarceration in some instances.

Author: Wanda Peters