Poker Player Scott Robbins Sues Borgata Over ‘Suicide Joke’
Posted on: July 20, 2021, 07:55h.
Last updated on: July 20, 2021, 02:14h.
Robbins wants $1.2 million in potential lost earnings, arguing that Borgata management’s alleged overreaction to some off-the-cuff remarks made at the front desk violated his civil rights.
Meanwhile, the defendants’ subsequent actions and statements were “an effort to distract from their failings” and slandered Robbins, while breaching public trust, the lawsuit claims.
In September 2020, Robbins arrived at the Atlantic City casino to play in the WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event. While there, he was able to win an entry ticket worth $3,500 in a $400 satellite.
That evening, while checking into the hotel, Robbins was asked by the desk clerk whether he would prefer a room on a high floor or a low floor.
If I had to jump from a high floor window [meaning, in case of fire or earthquake], would I make it?” Robbins jokingly asked, according to the lawsuit.
When a clerk told him not to do that he said he wouldn’t, but kept asking similar questions.
Would I make it if I had to jump out of a lower floor?” Robbins asked.
The clerk again told him not to jump. Robbins again said he wouldn’t, but said then “since I wouldn’t survive either, I guess it doesn’t matter what floor you give me.”
Robbins asserts in his complaint that there was laughter, and the jocular context of the conversation was understood. He was allocated a room on Borgata’s 50th floor. The lawsuit notes that the hotel windows at the Borgata are several inches thick and do not open.
Trip to a Psychiatrist
Shortly after Robbins had unpacked his belongings, casino security arrived at his room to inform him he was a danger to himself and would have to go to a hospital to be examined by a psychiatrist before he could return.
Robbins was bemused but complied with the casino’s request. The ambulance transported him to Atlanticare Regional Medical Center. Robbins was later charged $1,157 for the ride.
There, a psychiatrist immediately issued Robbins a psychiatric clearance notice ($865) stating the poker player neither posed a danger to himself nor anyone else. Robbins even laughed the incident off with the psychiatrist.
Banned for Life
But when he returned to the Borgata, he found he had been “banned for life” from the premises. Not only was he barred from participating in the tournament for which he held a $3,500 ticket, but also from all future tournaments held at the Borgata.
Robbins says he was a regular on the Borgata poker circuit. Nationwide, he has grossed $417,325 in live tournament wins since 2018.
The lawsuit alleges that before the day was out, the defendant had “wantonly and recklessly” made it known to others, “including, but not limited to, others on the Borgata and professional poker circuits, that Mr. Robbins was banned for life from the Borgata because of a suicide attempt.”
As a result, he lost corporate and individual sponsorships estimated at up to $200,000, the lawsuit states.
Based upon his earnings from previous Borgata poker tournaments, in conjunction with his yearly earnings percentage, Robbins believes he could have made an approximate net amount of $85,000 per year at the casino.
He is demanding $850,000 for ten lost years of theoretical future tournament play, plus another $200,000 in punitive and compensatory damages.