Borgata and Rival Casino in Bitter ‘Poaching’ Lawsuit over $million VIP Customer Info7 months ago
The Borgata Casino in Atlantic City has launched a lawsuit against new rivals Ocean Casino Resort, claiming that they poached top marketing execs who held important ‘secret details’ about its biggest VIP spenders.
The Nevada lawsuit centres around the Ocean’s signing of six marketing executives, two of whom it is complained have non-competition agreements in place, according to Wayne Parry of the Associated Press who broke the story.
One former Borgata executive, William Callahan, has been singled out in the lawsuit, with claims that he possesses a Borgata-owned phone and refuses to return it.
That phone, according to court documents, contains “priceless information” on VIP customers, including their private contact details, gambling preferences, as well as favourite foods and drinks.
It also includes information specific to in-game discounts that may be offered to the VIPs as well as the casino’s flexibility on game rules.
These ‘rule changes’ would be akin to Phil Ivey’s infamous edge-sorting cases, involving the Borgata, and Crockfords casino in London.
Ivey and his accomplice Cheung Yin ‘Kelly’ Sun were allowed to choose the deck of cards used at Punto Banco, who the dealer was, and various other details.
Ivey and Sun lost all their cases and appeals on both sides of the Atlantic, but a settlement with the Borgata was recently reached, the sum undisclosed but effectively ending the six-year legal battle.
In the current case, the Borgata claim that Callahan, hired by Ocean in late July, has refused to return the phone containing the customer details ‘as recently as (last) Monday’.
The VIP customers are reported to spend between $1.5 and $4million per visit, with an annual worth of at least $25million per head to the Borgata. A corporate jet is used to ferry the guests around to and from the casino.
The Borgata is currently by far the biggest and most profitable of Atlantic City’s casinos, showing a profit for the first 9 months of 2019 of $164.9 million.
The Ocean, owned by New York hedge fund Luxor Capital and opened in 2018 out of the ashes of the failed Revel Casino is clearly looking to make a move in the market.
Whether they have broken unfair competition laws or not with their recent hirings will be decided at a later date.
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