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New Jersey Appeals Court Allows Man To Sue Casino Over Canceled Poker Tournament

Golden Nugget Atlantic City Is Being Sued By A Vermont Man Over Cancelling A Poker Tournament With A Six-Figure Guaranteed Prize Pool

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A New Jersey appeals court reversed the decision of a lower court and will allow a Vermont man to sue an Atlantic City casino over a canceled poker tournament in 2015.

According to an Associated Press report, Michael Bandler traveled from Vermont to Atlantic City to play in a poker tournament at the Golden Nugget. The casino attached a $150,000 guaranteed prize pool to the event.

The report states that “the tournament started but was canceled by the casino due to a low number of registered players.” It is unclear whether cards were officially in the air and the tournament started or if staff canceled the event before a hand was played.

Regardless, Bandler felt wronged enough to bring forth a lawsuit against the casino. He argued that consumer fraud laws were violated because of misleading advertising surrounding the tournament.

The Golden Nugget argued that state gaming regulators held jurisdiction over the issue, not the courts, and that there was fine print on all ads that stated the tournament could be canceled. The initial ruling was in favor of the casino, but an appeals court overturned the decision Wednesday and agreed with Bandler.

“The casino omitted stating it intended to pay $150,000 only so long as enough people signed up, and the only indirect reference to that intent was the disputed disclaimer in small print about official rules and the right to change or cancel the event,” wrote the appeals court panel regarding their decision.