MGM Reaches Amicable Settlement With Ocean

By Ben Hamill - May 11 2021
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MGM Reaches Amicable Settlement With Ocean

MGM Resorts International and its Atlantic City Borgata have reportedly now dropped the trade secrets lawsuit previously instituted against AC rival Ocean Casino Resort. According to a statement issued last week by MGM, the issue had been dropped by way of settlement, and had revolved around Ocean’s hiring of two key Borgata employees.

Filed by MGM at a federal court last August, the lawsuit made its way into the judicial processes after the casino giant claimed that two marketing executives who had departed for Ocean Casino, had been ordered by their new employer to hand over a personal cellphone, forensic copies of two other phones, a personal computer, and any other device linked to MGM’s cloud-based accounts. The former Borgata marketing employee, William Callahan, also handed over log-in data that would have given Ocean Casino access to privileged information.

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The Outcome

All Borgata employees are hired under the strict condition of a year-long non-compete agreement.

Callahan held down a key marketing job at the Borgata, as did another employ also departed for Ocean Casino, namely Kelly Ashman Burke. The latter has been ordered by court to destroy any copies of the Borgata’s marketing strategy that she may still have in her possession.

During his time at MGM Resorts, Burke was the Borgata’s Executive Director of Marketing, while Callahan was the VP of Relationship Marketing. Both have now been sanctioned by court from having any contact with current Borgata customers.

The Plot Thickens

According to MGM’s latest statement, the resolution reached between the two parties includes an agreement on the part of Ocean Casino to honour and respect the restrictive covenants of the Borgata. These covenants include its confidentiality clauses, its non-solicitation rules, and also its non-compete protocols.

The pair of mentioned executives were allegedly not the only walkovers between the Borgata and Ocean Casino. According to the details of the lawsuit, the Borgata also accused Ocean of having poached at least a half a dozen of its top marketing executives – and as part of a direct trade secret onslaught. The idea had apparently been to secure secret details about the Borgata’s most profitable (VIP) customers.

Ocean Casino is the former Revel casino. Revel closed its doors in 2014 – this after it had spent 2 years trying and failing to turn a profit. The venue was eventually in 2018 reopened Luxor Capital under the Ocean brand. It currently ranks fifth among Atlantic City’s nine casinos.

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