Georgia’s Lucky Bucks Files Lawsuit Claiming $200M Fraud Against Former Owners
The new management of Lucky Bucks, a developer of “skill-based” slot machine style games in Georgia, has filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act lawsuit against the company’s former employees and associated entities.
The suit alleges that these individuals and entities systematically looted the company of approximately $200 million.
“The complaint alleges that the defendants knowingly engaged in extensive criminal behavior, violated Georgia’s RICO law, misappropriated trade secrets, committed fraud and breach of contract, and converted property rightfully owned by Lucky Bucks to the defendants’ control, among other charges,” said a statement announcing the lawsuit.
This alleged fraudulent activity occurred shortly before Lucky Bucks fell into financial distress, culminating in a bankruptcy filing in June 2023 amidst a debt exceeding $500 million. The company was eventually saved by a group of previous investors, continuing operations under its new name, Arc Technologies.
At its peak, the company operated more than 2,300 coin-operated amusement machines, or COAMs, as they are called in the state, across 345 locations. None of which were full Georgia casinos, which remain illegal.
Details of the Legal Complaint
The primary defendant in the lawsuit is Anil Damani, the founder and former owner of Lucky Bucks.
The complaint includes nine additional defendants who were part of the executive and operations management. It accuses them of engaging in criminal behavior, misappropriating trade secrets, fraud, breach of contract, and converting property rightfully owned by Lucky Bucks for their benefit.
Damani was specifically barred from working at Lucky Bucks by the Georgia Lottery Corporation in June 2020.
He and his team are alleged to have borrowed massive amounts from lenders and shared the proceeds among themselves.
The lawsuit outlines methods allegedly used in the fraud, including redirecting contracts at inflated rates and selling off gaming machines after removing their serial numbers. It also claims that the defendants used criminal means to cover their tracks, including deleting company records.
The new team behind Arc Gaming and the lawsuit are confident they have the evidence to back up their claims, too.
“These activities were initially uncovered by a team of industry professionals with extensive route gaming experience who were contracted by the new shareholders in September 2023 to oversee and review the operations and business practices of Lucky Bucks,” the operator’s statement said.
“Further analysis through forensic investigators, litigation case analysis, and interviews led to the formal complaint being filed today.”
Defendants Respond and Moving Forward
Despite these serious allegations, Damani’s attorney, Scott R. Grubman, has dismissed the claims as baseless, portraying Damani as a successful businessman and community figure.
He also said that he looked forward to defeating the claims in court, although it is not clear if all individuals accused in the filings will share the same legal counsel.
Meanwhile Arc Gaming and its investors are attempting to move on from the bankruptcy and scandal. It said it will announce its new appointments of CEO, CFO, and COO in the near future.
This provides the company with a strong management team that has past experience operating routes with more than 8,000 terminals in highly regulated route gaming markets,” a statement said.
“While the legal proceedings are a necessary step to dealing with the past alleged criminal behavior and how it might have affected the past company performance, it will not affect the goals of the new shareholders and management to reestablish Lucky Bucks as a major player in the Georgia COAM industry.”