Florida Blackjack Player Fights $1.2 Million Gambling Debt

I am sure that when Jerome Powers took out his line of credit he thought that he would be doing some winning at the blackjack tables at the Mohegan Sun. And I am sure that the Mohegan Sun thought that Powers would not be a problem.

But two years later the Mohegan Sun is still trying to collect on the millionaire’s credit line with them. Did I mention that Powers is a millionaire? No? Well, he is. To give you an idea, he sold his Ocean Drive magazine for $33 million. And that was only one business deal. So with that kind of money floating around, why is he fighting a $1.2 million gambling debt?

Sure, it probably is not peanuts to his bank account, but he also made five year deal with Donald Trump for $20 million. So while it is not the same as a middle class person forking over $10, there really is no reason why Powers should be fighting the Mohegan Sun and their tribal lawyers for paying the debt.

Unless the money is not there.

The whole problem stemmed from the day in May 2009 when the Mohegan Sun extended Powers the $1.2 million credit line. When he went to write what would be six checks to cover the $1.2 million, his bank returned the checks saying his account was closed. Powers at that point walked out of the Mohegan Sun.

Enter the lawyers.

Powers and his lawyer say that the credit line was illegal since it was issued on tribal land where the state has no jurisdiction. The judge ruled in favor of the Mohegan, saying it was used for legal gambling therefore it was considered legal by the state of Connecticut.

Now Powers and his attorney have filled for an appeal as of last week. The Mohegan are being mum on the entire ordeal, not commenting or saying anything—just keeping their heads down. But that approach is probably best considering they want their money which means the appeals court has to rule in their favor. Mum is best in this case.

But I still do not get why Powers would be so willing to gamble away $1.2 million on blackjack if he never considered losing it all. And there is the lesson: never play blackjack unless you can afford to lose the money.