A lawsuit has been filed against Caesars Windsor in Ontario for allowing a gambler to play when they should have recognized him as a problem gambler.
Plaintiff Tarwinder Shokar attempted to commit suicide by throwing himself in front of a truck more than a half-decade ago. His misery was the result of losing all his savings through gambling.
Shokar didn’t die, and rather received a considerable insurance payout. Shokar’s lawsuit claims he lost it all again in just two visits to Caesars Windsor in October 2013,– approximately CAD$342,000 ($261,000).
Attorneys representing the Canadian resident say the casino should have identified their client as a problem gambler. Instead, the lawsuit alleges, casino staff only encouraged Shokar to gamble more and more.
As reported by casino.org, Shokar is looking for reimbursement of the $261,000 he lost, in addition to punitive damages of $382,000 for a grand total of nearly $643,000.
Caesars Windsor owned by Caesars Entertainment, opened in 1998 and is one of four casinos in the Detroit-Windsor area; however, the only one on the Canadian side.
Now Shokar isn’t only suing. Charges were brought charges against Caesars Windsor by his legal team that same month in 2013. However, the civil lawsuit was moved from local courts in Brampton to the Superior Court of Justice in Windsor recently.
Besides Caesars, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) – the government’s regulatory firm which supervises casino and lottery operations in the province – is mentioned in the lawsuit.
Lawyer Iain MacKinnon told the Windsor Star, “Our position is he was a compulsive gambler and the casino and/or the OLG were either well aware of his past background or should have been.”
Apart from his claims that he’s a problem gambler, the lawsuit says that Shokar is an alcoholic. His attorneys say he has been banned at other casinos, and has a criminal record of fraud.
The lawsuit argues that on October 17, 2013, Shokar arrived at Caesars Windsor with a $42,000 bank draft and “was given the red carpet treatment,” along with a personal casino host who was “responsible for the management and development of elite VIP guests.”
Shokar alleges he lost $70,000 in less than 12 hours. On October 23, he returned after 10 days and lost over $191,000 in a 24-hour period. MacKinnon added, “They did everything they could for him to gamble as much as possible.”
Attorneys representing the casino, in a motion to dismiss the legal action, said, “Each time he made a wager, he chose the amount of money he wanted to wager in full knowledge of the risks associated with that wager.”
The defense continued, “Mr. Shokar was negligent in coming to Caesars Windsor in the first place. Any losses Mr. Shokar may have suffered are not recoverable in law.”
The Ontario Gaming Control Act of 1992 specifies that an operator of a casino shall not allow entry to “individuals who appear to be intoxicated.”
Also, casinos must prevent access to persons who the gaming operator “has reason to believe has been excluded.” There’s no proof that Shokar had self-excluded himself or was barred by regulators.