Humanoids are stupid. Laugh at them.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Compulsive Gambler Files $20M Suit Against Casinos

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) ― She was an ambitious lawyer and TV commentator who starting going to Atlantic City casinos to relax, and soon was getting high-roller treatment that included limousines whisking her to the resort.

Arelia Margarita Taveras says she was even allowed to bring her dog, Sasha, to the blackjack tables, sitting in her purse.

But her gambling spun out of control: She said she would go days at a time at the tables, not eating or sleeping, brushing her teeth with disposable wipes so she didn't have to leave.
She says her losses totaled nearly $1 million.

Now she's chasing the longest of long shots: a $20 million racketeering lawsuit in federal court against six Atlantic City casinos and one in Las Vegas, claiming they had a duty to notice her compulsive gambling problem and cut her off.

"They knew I was going for days without eating or sleeping," Taveras said. "I would pass out at the tables. They had a duty of care to me. Nobody in their right mind would gamble for four or five straight days without sleeping."

Experts say her case will be difficult to prove, but it provides an unusually detailed window into the life of a problem gambler.

"It's like crack, only gambling is worse than crack because it's mental," said Taveras, 37, a New Yorker who now lives in Minnesota. "It creeps up on you, the impulse. It's a sickness."

She lost her law practice, her apartment, her parents' home, and owes the IRS $58,000. She said she even considered swerving into oncoming traffic to kill herself.

In interviews with The Associated Press, Taveras admitted she dipped into her clients' escrow accounts to finance her gambling habit. She was disbarred last June.

The casinos deny any wrongdoing, maintaining in court papers that Taveras brought her problems on herself.


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