Borgata Takes Aim At Ocean Casino’s Recent Hires In New Lawsuit

Written By Derek Helling on August 28, 2020 - Last Updated on February 22, 2021

The competition for gamblers’ dollars in Atlantic City is fierce. If you aren’t yet convinced of that, consider the allegations in a new Borgata lawsuit.

In an article by the Associated Press, Borgata alleges that Ocean Casino Resort is pilfering its trade secrets by hiring its former executives in violation of noncompete clauses in their Borgata contracts.

The lawsuit was filed in Nevada, where Borgata’s parent company, MGM Resorts International, is based.

Details of the Borgata lawsuit against Ocean

Over the past few months, Ocean has hired six former Borgata marketing execs. No one is disputing that fact. What’s in dispute, however, is the legality of those hires.

In the lawsuit, Borgata states that at least two of those new Ocean employees violated the terms of noncompete clauses in their contracts with Borgata. Those clauses barred them from working for any competitors for at least a year after leaving Borgata.

The complaint, however, makes further allegations.

Borgata says that those new Ocean hires have shared proprietary information about its business with Ocean. Those details include contact information and pertinent info for many of Borgata’s high-roller customers.

Atlantic City’s top-grossing casino also asserts that Ocean hired four other Borgata marketing executives with the goal of crippling Borgata financially.

Ocean Casino told the Associated Press that it would not comment on an ongoing lawsuit.

Business has been good for Ocean recently

The former Revel has had its share of ups and downs since it reopened as Ocean Resort Casino in 2018. It was in hot water with the Division of Gaming Enforcement and Casino Control Commission in early 2019 before it was sold to Luxor Capital. Then it changed its name.

The turnaround at Ocean has been ongoing ever since.

Last month, Ocean ranked second in Atlantic City casino win. That revenue of $23.6 million was an increase of 23.1% compared to July 2019.

What’s remarkable about that increase is that last summer, the casino was running at full capacity with no mask mandate, temperature checks or indoor dining prohibitions. This year, Atlantic City casinos face myriad COVID-19 restrictions.

Ocean Casino saw nine consecutive months of slot play growth before the pandemic shut things down in March. Borgata, for its part, was closed for the majority of July, but it consistently earns three times as much as any other casino.

How this suit will end, no one knows right now. What’s obvious, however, is that Borgata is watching when its former executives work for AC competitors.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist from Chicago. In addition to gaming news, he covers esports, sports business and sports law. When he isn’t writing, he spends his serving his two Munchkin cat overlords.

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