Wednesday February 5,2014 : U.S. RACING FIRM SUES FORMER ATLANTIC CITY CASINO EXEC
Churchill Downs wanted to launch an online gambling operation in New Jersey
The Kentucky horse racing group Churchill Downs claimed in a Louisville court this week that it was defrauded by Atlantic City casino executive Nicholas L. Ribis in a deal that would have allowed the racing company to launch an online gambling operation in New Jersey.
The publication WDRB reports that Churchill Downs claims Ribis "strung the company along" last year by leading it to believe that he was close to buying the Showboat Atlantic City Hotel and Casino from Caesars Entertainment Corp., which would have given Churchill entree to the New Jersey online gambling marker.
Ribis, however, failed to close the deal.
Churchill Downs Interactive Gaming's court submission shows that the company had planned to develop an internet gaming and online gambling system connected to Showboat.
Churchill paid Ribis' company NLR Entertainment LLC a $2.5 million "earnest money" deposit and was to pay Ribis' business an additional $7.5 million once the sale of Showboat closed no later than January 31, according to the complaint filed in Jefferson Circuit Court.
And Churchill spent $10 million to purchase intellectual property and to hire more than 20 engineers to develop the online gaming platform, the suit reveals.
Churchill seeks to recoup the $2.5 million deposit from Ribis and asks for unspecified damages to be determined at a trial.
Churchill spokeswoman Courtney Norris declined to comment due to the launch of litigation.
WDRB reports that although it was unable to find a contact number for Ribis, his name has in the past been associated in a management capacity with various US gambling concerns, including the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel; the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort; Resorts Atlantic City: and Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc.