Ocean Casino Resort Atlantic City Sues New Foe Live! Philadelphia Over Marketing Slogan

Posted on: September 2, 2021, 09:06h. 

Last updated on: September 2, 2021, 02:25h.

Ocean Casino Resort didn’t exactly take over an apple pie to welcome its new neighbor to the region’s gaming industry. Instead, the Atlantic City Boardwalk property presented Live! Casino Hotel Philadelphia with a lawsuit.

Ocean Casino lawsuit Live! Philadelphia
Ocean Casino resort argues in federal court that its primary slogan — “GO FOR THE WIN” — is being wrongly used by a competitor. The Atlantic City property has sued Live! Casino Philadelphia. (Image: Ocean Casino Resort)

AC Ocean Walk LLC, the parent entity of Ocean Casino Resort, argues in federal court that Live! Casino Philadelphia has unlawfully used its patented advertising mantra. In New Jersey District Court, attorneys representing Ocean claim that its “GO FOR THE WIN” slogan has been infringed upon by the Live! marketing team.

“Since on or about July 20, 2021 — approximately one month after Ocean rolled out its GO FOR THE WIN advertising campaign — defendant Live! has featured LET’S GO FOR THE WIN in advertising and marketing to entice customers to attend its casino and use its online gaming services,” the lawsuit asserts.

It appears that Live! got the message, as Casino. org could not find any “LET’S GO FOR THE WIN” marketing materials on the Philly casino’s website or social media channels.

Live! Philly opened in the Pennsylvania city’s Stadium District earlier this year. The $700 million integrated resort is just 50 miles west of Atlantic City’s nine casinos.

Damages Sought

Ocean attorneys contest that similar mottos will likely cause confusion among customers.

Defendant Live!’s unauthorized use of a confusingly similar service mark interferes with Ocean’s ability to control the nature and quality of the services Ocean provides under its GO FOR THE WIN service mark, and places the valuable reputation and good will of Ocean in the hands of defendant Live!, over which Ocean has no control,” the litigation adds.

Ocean’s lawsuit claims that Live! has been notified regarding the similar slogans, but has continued to use the wording in what the Atlantic City casino claims are a “willful, intentional, and deliberate act made in bad faith.”

Ocean’s “GO FOR THE WIN” application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) resulted in the casino receiving a use application for the tagline. Such an affordance gives Ocean priority rights and usage of the phrase.

The lawsuit brings two counts of unfair competition challenges against Live! and its parent entity, Stadium Casino, LLC. The Cordish Companies, based in Baltimore, owns and operates Live! casinos in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Ocean is seeking a federal judge to order Live! to cease and desist from continuing to use any similar wording to its USPTO-protected slogan. The Atlantic City casino additionally requests unspecified damages sustained by the defendant’s alleged infringement, and attorneys’ fees and other expenses incurred by Ocean relating to the challenge.

Role Reversals

Ocean was recently the defendant in another casino vs. casino lawsuit. MGM Resorts Borgata brought a complaint against Ocean in August of 2020, alleging that it stole its trade secrets by poaching its marketing employees.

In May of this year, the two casinos announced that they had reached a settlement. MGM told Casino.org that Ocean agreed to honor Borgata’s “restrictive covenants, including its non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality provisions that are designed to protect Borgata’s trade secrets.”

Borgata argued that Ocean deliberately hired William Callahan and Kelly Ashman Burke — two of the resort’s top marketing execs — in order to gain access to the MGM casino’s high-roller VIP Rolodex.

In a separate incident, in May Cordish pressured a small local media group to change its logo. The casino company took issue with the font Chadds Ford Live used, which it claimed violated its patented Live! logo.