A professional poker player is suing the Borgata after an apparently offhand comment he made to a desk clerk about jumping out of a window got him banned for life.
Scott Robbins of Millbury, Massachusetts is seeking more than $1.25 million, a major portion of which he alleges represents lost earnings from Atlantic City poker tournaments, court papers show.
The suit says Robbins, 54, was checking in at the popular hotel and casino for a Borgata $3,500 Main Event in September 2019 when a front desk clerk asked if he wanted a high or low floor for his room.
“If I had to jump from a high floor window, would I make it?” it says he asked.
The suit says Robbins was referring to trying to escape a fire or earthquake.
“NO, don’t do that,” it says the clerk responded.
“Would I make it if I had to jump out of a lower floor?” the lawsuit says he then asked.
The clerk again implored him not to do it, it says.
“[S]ince I wouldn’t survive either, I guess it doesn’t matter what floor you give me,” the suit says he responded.
After receiving a key to the 30th floor, Robbins told the clerk: “Not a low floor!”
Robbins said he got to his room, plopped down in front of the TV – then security showed up. He was told he’d have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation if he wanted to stay, the lawsuit says.
An ambulance took Robbins to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, for which the suit says he was later charged $1,157.
A psychiatrist provided a letter attesting that Robbins wasn’t a threat to himself or others, he said. That charge: $865.
It apparently was too late, however.
Returning to the hotel, Robbins found his belongings removed, the lawsuit alleges. He was told he’d been banned for life from all Borgata premises, it says. Then he was escorted from the property.
The lawsuit – which note that inch-thick, non-opening glass in room windows prevents suicides – accuses the Borgata of “wantonly and recklessly” making it known that Robbins was banned for life “because of a suicide attempt.”
Published reports show Robbins earning $417,325 in tournaments dating back to January 2018. A third-place finish in one of them reportedly netted him $130,235.
In addition to potential winnings of an estimated $85,000 a year for the next decade, the lawsuit alleges that the Borgata Ban will cost Robbins $200,000 in corporate and individual sponsorships.
He’s also seeking $200,000 in punitive and compensatory damages in the suit, which accuses the Borgata of false imprisonment, interference with prospective economic gain and libel.
Robbins filed the action in Superior Court in Atlantic County last month. Attorneys for the Borgata later succeeded in having the case moved to U.S. District Court in Camden.
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