Compulsive Gambler Sues Casinos

She’s a lawyer.

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.

But it’s not her fault.

She says her losses totaled nearly $1 million.

But it’s not her fault.

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.”

She’s expecting a casino to care for her? That’s completely stupid.

Taveras admitted she dipped into her clients’ escrow accounts to finance her gambling habit.

But it’s not her fault.

Her practice had 400 clients and earned her $500,000 a year. During one five-day gambling jag at Resorts in June 2005, Taveras says, she existed on nothing but orange juice and Snickers bars that the staff gave her. On the fifth day, she said, a dealer told her to go home because she appeared exhausted and unable to keep track of her cards.

But it’s not her fault.

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