With the increase and proliferation of Native American and other casinos, as well as the advent of internet sports gambling, many of those suffering substantial losses are turning to a bankruptcy filing in order to obtain a “fresh start” by filing a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy proceeding. Unfortunately, for those individuals who fail to meet the strict standards relating to obtaining a discharge in bankruptcy, a foray into a bankruptcy proceeding may turn out to be a journey in quicksand.

Among the more recent bankruptcy court decisions focusing on the area of gambling losses, the recent case of Eric Ferguson from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Adv. Pro 20ap00426) is highly instructive as to what prospective debtors, attorneys and other professionals need to consider when those with gambling (or similar) losses seek bankruptcy protection.