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Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk loses big and now Mohegan Sun Casino want a settle-up

Publish: 27.09.2019

Eugene Melnyk may have lived in Barbados since 1991 but the Canadian makes regular visits to his homeland to support the Ottawa Senators, the National Hockey League franchise which he owns.

It appears the 60-year-old also likes to make occasional jaunts south of the border to play some casino games too as the Mohegan Sun Casino, in Uncasville, Connecticut, have begun a law suit against the Canadian businessman seeking the return of a $900,000 2017 gambling debt.

The casino, operated by the Mohegan Tribe, claim Melnyk has failed to honour four drafts of $200,000 and another valued at $100,000 that were issued in March 2017. The drafts, drawn on a Toronto bank, were all returned unpaid. 

In an affidavit, an attorney for Mohegan Sun declared that he had spoken with Melnyk’s corporate lawyer and he believes Melnyk is aware of the suit which was filed in June 2019 but has only just come to light.

While Melnyk would not be the first person to go on ‘tilt’ during a session at a land-based casino it is still surprising the debt has not been met. In 2017 Canadian Business magazine ranked Melnyk Canada’s 79th richest man with a net worth of $1.21 billion. The same publication dropped him down the pecking order in 2018 (ranked 92nd) but his net worth was unchanged.

Canada’s biggest loser was playing with someone else’ money

Brian Molony remains Canada’s best known unsuccessful casino gambler, losing millions in the early 1980’s. However, unlike Melnyk, Moloney did not have a personal cash reserve to fund his losses.  

In fact he was a low level employee of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on a basic wage but, unknown to his bosses, he embezzled over ten million dollars from his employers and dumped the bulk of it in Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos.

A scene from the 2003 Canadian film ‘Owning Mahowny

Molony was arrested in April 1982 when the full extent of his fraud was exposed – the day before he had lost a million dollars at the tables at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel-Casino!

In 1983 Molony pleaded guilty to embezzlement and served two-and-half years in prison followed by a program of restitution and community service, which included public speaking about the compulsion of gambling.

Molony’s 18 months of brazen fraud and out-of-control gambling was later subject of a book ‘Stung’ which was the basis for the 2003 Canadian film ‘Owning Mahowny’.

Image credit Creator:Wayne Cuddington