Casino Sued for Downgrading Jackpot to Steak Dinner

BROOKLYN (CN) – A woman claims in court that the casino called it a “machine malfunction” when she hit the jackpot playing slots, giving her just a couple of bucks instead of $42 million.

Katrina Bookman brought the complaint Wednesday in Queens County Supreme Court, just about 3 miles from the Resorts World Casino on Rockaway Boulevard where Bookman says she was playing the Sphinx slot machine on Aug. 23, 2016.

The machine’s “bells, noises and lights” all told Bookman she won the jackpot, according to hte complaint, plus the screen displayed the message “printing cash ticket $42,949,672.76.”

As an exhibit to her 17-page complaint, Bookman even included a selfie she took in front of the machine while the message was displayed.

The complaint notes that casino agents escorted the Far Rockaway woman from the floor, however, telling her to come back the next day for a “decision” on her winnings.

When she did, the casino allegedly cited a “machine malfunction,” telling Bookman that all she was entitled to was a steak dinner, plus the $2.25 balance that the casino says was left on the machine when she hit the jackpot.

In addition to Resorts World Casino, Bookman seeks damages from Genting New York LLC and International Game Technology, alleging counts of common-law negligence, breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation.

Bookman says the ordeal shocked her nervous system and left her embarrassed, anxious and depressed. 

Resorts World Casino declined to comment on the lawsuit.

After the local ABC news team “7 on Your Side” broke Bookman’s story in late October, multiple news outlets reported that Bookman’s attorney Alan Ripkin was seeking to have the casino pay Bookman Sphinx slot machine’s posted maximum payout, $6,500.

In Iowa, a similar situation played out in 2011 where 87-year old grandmother Pauline McKee was awarded just $1.85 after the Hello Kitty slot machine she was using displayed the message “Bonus award — $41,797,550.16.”

The Iowa Supreme Court ultimately denied McKee the multimillion dollar bonus in 2015.

“Consider the other side of the coin,” Justice Edward Mansfield explained at the time. “Suppose the symbols had aligned so that McKee was entitled to a payout under the rules of the game, but the machine did not inform her of a payout. Would the casino have been obligated to compensate her despite the absence of a notification that she had won? We think so.”

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