Poker Player Tossed Out Of Borgata For Offensive Body Odor

As a reporter and analyst of online gambling, I’ve spent several years now studying the online poker industry. I could write paragraph after paragraph of the differences between online poker and land-based poker rooms, and the advantages presented by each. But today’s story out of Atlantic City beats all reasoning I’ve ever managed to come up with, as long-time poker player Michael Wax was thrown out of the Borgata Casino for offensive body odor.

He must have been on a roll that day, having played 17 hours straight at the poker room before 440-pound Michael Wax was approached by a casino manager when he entered the restroom. Wax was told that his body odor had become offensive to his fellow table-mates and several complaints had been received.

Dismissing the message, Wax attempted to return to his table, only to be notified again by casino managers of the situation, this time accompanied by a request to stop playing and leave the premises. Michael asked the manager if the casino would grant him a free hotel room, just long enough to freshen up. The casino refused, forcing Wax to leave immediately.

At 54 years of age, Wax claims to be a frequent poker player at the Borgata. The incident resulted in his immediate filing of a complaint against the casino with the Casino Control Commission for embarrassing him in front of the other poker players. The complaint is currently under review to decide whether any gambling laws or relative regulations had been broken.

Though he admits there definitely was an issue of personal body odor, Michael would at least like an apology from the casino for his public embarrassment. In the casino’s defense, there was an attempt made to inform Mr. Wax of the situation in a private manner (within the restroom). In the same token, Wax was not forced to leave until returning to his table, thereby creating an awkward situation for everyone.

Again, as an analyst of the gambling industry for many years now, I understand exactly how comps and benefits work at both land-based and online casinos. A frequent player, such as Wax claims to be, especially one who had spent the last 17 hours creating profits for the casino, should certainly have been offered the chance to wash-up and continue his poker game at no charge – at least in my opinion. If such a customer is not valuable enough to the casino to supply a little hot water and complimentary soap, perhaps Michael Wax would be better off playing elsewhere anyway.

Which brings me to my last obvious point: Online poker rooms have a lot of advantages, and the ability to avoid complaints – both to and from a player – of offensive body odor is the newest addition to a long and continuously expanding list.

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