Simply as Nevada’s gaming regulators despatched U.S. Lawyer Basic Merrick Garland a letter urging a crackdown on unlawful offshore web playing casinos, a retired Canadian lawyer filed a lawsuit in opposition to an offshore web site.
Victor Janicki of Kelowna, British Columbia, mentioned in his lawsuit filed in British Columbia Supreme Courtroom that he was cheated out of a $220,550 jackpot off a blackjack aspect wager he wagered whereas taking part in the reside BJ Basic Sport at BetOnline.ag, an offshore web on line casino based mostly in Costa Rica and registered in Antigua.
By all indications, BetOnline.ag is affiliated with Visionary iGaming, based mostly in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Gaming and authorized specialists I’ve spoken to say they’re unaware of any one that has efficiently sued and picked up from an offshore on-line on line casino, though there have been some situations wherein a on line casino firm settled with the plaintiff for a smaller quantity.
$1 aspect wager
In keeping with the lawsuit and interviews, Janicki was betting about $40 a hand taking part in blackjack on Feb. 23 and spending $1 on the aspect wager wherein he may win an enormous jackpot if he was dealt three 7s of diamonds from a six-deck shoe in a single hand for a 21.
At about 1 p.m., he mentioned he was dealt two 7s of diamonds and was informed by on line casino personnel that he was eligible for the large jackpot.
That’s the place the story will get a bit of fuzzy.
Janicki mentioned instantly the display screen went black for about 10 seconds and he couldn’t see what was occurring on the on line casino blackjack desk. He informed me that was the primary time the display screen went black.
When the desk reappeared on his pc display screen, Janicki was greeted by two on line casino staff who congratulated him for profitable the jackpot. So he caught round and entered a desk chatroom to learn the way he’d receives a commission.
However he was informed there had been a mistake and he by no means received the large prize.
For the following couple months, he tried to make contact with BetOnline.ag and Visionary iGaming to get a replica of the video, since he had a file of what sport and hand was being performed on the time.
In early April, Janicki acquired an surprising correspondence with a video of what, he says, exhibits a re-enactment of the dealt hand. However within the re-creation, the seller gave Janicki two 7s of diamonds and dealt himself one card face down. The seller mentioned within the video that Janicki was eligible for the large prize since he already had two 7s of diamonds. After a brief pause, a lady entered the body, informed the digital camera that Janicki’s hand was eligible for the large jackpot, wished him good luck and departed.
The seller then dealt himself a ten and, like each blackjack sport I’ve ever seen, checked the face-down card. It was an ace and the sport was over. The video confirmed Janicki was by no means dealt a 3rd card.
However, in accordance with Janicki and the lawsuit, that’s not what occurred.
As a retired lawyer who labored prison instances all through his profession, Janicki felt he may file the lawsuit himself, submitting it April 25. He additionally employed a legislation agency in San Jose, Costa Rica, to serve the civil declare to BetOnline.ag and Visionary iGaming.
Now, he waits.
Canadian legislation states the defendants may have 49 days to answer the lawsuit when it’s served exterior of Canada or the US. After that, a British Columbian decide can enter a judgment within the case.
That’s what Janicki is hoping for — a directed verdict, which ought to play out round June 13.
My efforts to contact BetOnline.ag and Visionary iGaming by e-mail have been unsuccessful.
Brad Scott of SportbookReview.com mentioned in a weblog submit that he thinks Janicki didn’t win as a result of a 3rd card was by no means dealt to him throughout the sport and that the sport ought to have ended when the seller hit his blackjack. Janicki nonetheless contends that the video supplied doesn’t present what really occurred.
Scott, whose SBR Dispute Decision Service helps gamers navigate participant disputes, works primarily with U.S. and Canadian casinos and never worldwide operations.
Janicki’s dispute with BetOnline illustrates why gaming regulators throughout the nation requested Garland final month to crack down on unlicensed, illegally operated on-line casinos. Six gaming regulators in Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey signed on to Nevada Gaming Management Board Chairman Kirk Hendrick’s letter to Garland.
It’s the identical stance that has been taken by the American Gaming Affiliation for years, however pushed to the entrance burner in November as a significant business drawback.
The AGA mentioned in a 19-page report that the unlawful and unregulated gaming market takes in $510.9 billion a 12 months, costing the authorized regulated markets in the US an estimated $44.2 billion, stopping states from amassing an estimated $13.3 billion in tax income.
State regulatory our bodies can solely accomplish that a lot with business dangerous actors, which is why they need the backing of the federal authorities to help on issues like these skilled by Victor Janicki.
Contact Richard N. Velotta at email@example.com or 702-477-3893. Observe @RickVelotta on Twitter.