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Woman suing casinos for $20 million over gambling addiction

Woman suing casinos for $20 million over gambling addiction Arelia Margarita Taveras, former NJ lawyer, is suing the Atlantic City casinos for $20 million, claiming the casinos failed to notice her gambling addiction. The former lawyer has filed 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, a lawsuit considered by experts to be a long shot.

 According to reports, Arelia Margarita Taveras began visiting the Atlantic City casinos as a form of relaxation and entertainment, which soon turned into a full-force gambling addiction. She claims that she lost over $1 million since the beginning of her gambling habit and lost her law practice, her apartment, her parents' home, plus she says she owes the IRS $58,000. Arelia Margarita Taveras also admits she dipped into her clients accounts to fund her gambling problem, which led to her disbarment last year and faces criminal charges stemming from the embezzlement. The casinos she names in her lawsuit are Resorts Atlantic City, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, the Tropicana Casino Resort, the Showboat Casino Hotel, Bally's Atlantic City, as well as the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Last month, a judge dismissed the Trump casinos, the Tropicana, Showboat and Bally's from the lawsuit on technical grounds, but allowed Taveras to re-file the suit against them by April.

 "They knew I was going for days without eating or sleeping. 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," Arelia Margarita Taveras was quoted. A sad story which could only serve as a reminder to the millions of gamblers worldwide that gambling is fun when only in moderation.

 Published on 03/09/2008

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