New York slot player Katrina Bookman has filed a lawsuit against Resorts World Casino after bosses refused to pay out her $42,949,672.76 jackpot win.
The mother-of-four, from New York, was playing the Sphinx slot machine when the almighty jackpot total flashed up on screen. And as any other excited new millionaire would, she quickly snapped a selfie to immortalise her winning moment.
But despite posing with her prize, Resort World Casino chiefs snubbed her win, citing machine ‘malfunction’ as the reason for the titanic total. If the win had been valid, it would have been recorded as the largest ever slot jackpot win in US history.
It’s worth noting that the casino’s argument is plausible. Malfunction of slot machines is a risk of playing in land-based casinos, which is why a legal disclaimer is visible on them clearly stating that ‘malfunction voids all pays and plays’. And with the advertised maximum win on the Sphinx slot capped at $6,500 (£3,508), this should have been the amount paid out on hitting the jackpot. But surprisingly, Resort World Casino didn’t hand over the maximum win.
Instead, they simply offered Bookman her original $2.25 (£1.83) stake back as compensation, plus a steak dinner on the house. A snub indeed. Bookman laughed this off, joking that she would use her full winnings to take the casino director himself out for a steak dinner.
Bookman’s lawsuit appeals against the New York State Gaming Commission, who supported the casino’s decision and ruled that a malfunction had in fact taken place and voided Bookman’s play. Seeking a cool $43million in damages for casino negligence by failing to adequately maintain its slot machines, Bookman’s case is now a much more serious matter. If it can be proven that the slots were not properly maintained by the casino, it’s possible that previous players who paid to play the machines stood no chance of winning. This lands Resort World Casino in hot water.
Meanwhile, Bookman remains stunned by the casino’s refusal to hand over her winnings. Recalling the incident, she told ABC7: “I said ‘what did I win?’ The casino representative said, ‘You didn’t win nothing.’” If this statement was to be taken literally in court, the double negative implies that she did win something. But that’s just semantics, and unfortunately is unlikely to swing the court’s decision.
Bookman’s legal battle is still ongoing. If she wins, she just might want to get that $43million selfie framed.