Maryland’s leading casino operator has sued its newest competitor before it even opened over an allegedly pilfered list of high-rolling gamblers.
MGM, which is set to open its $1.3b National Harbor casino next month as the state’s sixth and final gaming venue, is accused of having “aided and abetted this whole scheme” by knowingly hiring the three staffers “with knowledge that they have misappropriated trade secrets and are subject to No Hire/Non-Compete agreements.”
Specifically, Maryland Live alleges that the three former “executive hosts” – two of whom bore the title of Asian Executive Host – stolen names and contact info of players belonging to the top two strata of its player reward system.
Maryland Live claims the hosts unlawfully downloaded “hundreds of files” relating to its VIP clients and the casino has asked the court to order an “independent forensics analysis’ of the trio’s mobile phones and computers to learn the true extent of their alleged brazen thieving.
In June, Maryland Live sent MGM a letter claiming to have received “credible information from multiple sources” that the three ex-hosts were “actively soliciting and calling upon” Maryland Live’s VIPs on MGM’s behalf.
MGM called the allegations “baseless” and said the lawsuit was “nothing more than a thinly disguised attempt to stifle the competition … and to try to tarnish MGM’s reputation in the marketplace.”
Maryland Live said its ex-hosts signed papers agreeing not to work for any casino within 75 miles for a one-year period. MGM claims that the trio will be employed by a subsidiary physically located in Virginia and thus weren’t breaking the terms of their non-compete agreements. Maryland Live called bullshit, saying the defendants “cannot set up phony offices to evade” their agreements.
This isn’t the first time Maryland Live has gone after former VIP wranglers who went to work for the competition. In 2014, the casino sued a former VIP host who the casino claimed took info on 19 customers before going to work for the new Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.