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Court Rules Gambler Can Sue Businesses for Video Poker Losses

South Carolina Court Rules that Woman Can Sue Restaurants for Her Financial Losses Due to Video Poker Addiction

The South Carolina Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday, May 15th, that a woman can move forward with a lawsuit against popular Columbia eateries that used to offer video poker machines.

Specifically, the Court of Appeals ruled that the woman could sue the restaurants to recoup financial losses due to her video poker addiction.

The plaintiff is Lauren Proctor, represented by the Strom Law Firm. Pete Strom, founder of the Strom Law Firm, said, “We believe that this decision opens the door for individuals and families harmed by illegal gambling across the state to seek recovery for gambling losses.”

According to the lawsuit, from 1999 to 2005, Proctor frequently gambled on video poker machines provided by Pizza Man and Rockaways Athletic Club. She often lost between $1,000 and $5,000 gambling on the video poker machines, which South Carolina ruled were illegal in 2000. According to case documents, the two establishments encouraged her video poker addiction by providing her with cash advances to fund her gambling, as well as free food and liquor to keep her at the establishments longer.

Although the video poker machines have been illegal in South Carolina since 2000, the two operations kept theirs in use, which fueled her furthered loss of income for the next five years, until she was arrested as part of an FBI sting operation.

South Carolina takes illegal gambling machines seriously
South Carolina takes illegal gambling machines seriously

The Strom Law Firm Fights Illegal Video Poker Operations and Protects Those with Gambling Addictions

In 2011, the Strom Law Firm wrote that video poker was making a come-back in South Carolina. The Strom Law Firm was one of the first law firms to bring suits against the video poker industry in the late 1990s seeking to recover gambling losses.   Since that time, the Strom Law Firm has litigated video poker cases, including Lauren Proctor’s first case against a local Columbia restaurant.

In that case, the Court concluded that operating video poker machines for gambling constituted a violation of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act.  South Carolina has several laws in place to protect gamblers and their families from the financial ruin that their gambling addiction can cause.  Recently, a bill which adds sweepstakes machines to the list of illegal video poker machines in South Carolina moved to Governor Nikki Haley’s desk for approval, after near-unanimously passing both the House and the Senate.

The Strom Law Firm Prosecutes Operators of Illegal Gambling Machines

The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have experience with illegal gambling casesand is accepting cases for people who have been harmed by illegal gambling in the State of South Carolina. We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. To have a lawyer evaluate your case, please call us at 803.252.4800. Do not let illegal gambling ruin your future.



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