Posted on: November 8, 2022, 01:59h.
Last updated on: November 8, 2022, 04:43h.
A New York slots player is suing the Hard Rock in Atlantic City, claiming the casino is short-changing its customers.
A proposed federal class action lawsuit filed Saturday in the Eastern District of New York accuses Hard Rock of breach of contract, conversion, and unjust enrichment. That’s in relation to its “deceptive, unconscionable, unlawful, misleading, and unfair” cash-out voucher policy for slot machines.
After playing, gamblers who wish to cash out unused credits receive a printed voucher that can be redeemed at electronic kiosks positioned throughout the casino. These machines only pay out whole dollar amounts. They don’t dispense coins and don’t provide “any meaningful instruction” on how to redeem the balance, according to the lawsuit.
Instead, the kiosk produces another cash-out ticket for the remaining balance, which can be redeemed for coins in another part of the casino, according to the lawsuit. Many customers are reluctant to do this because they know they may have to wait in a long line for less than a dollar.
And all that small change adds up.
‘Makes Customers Gamble More’
“Many players are unsure of where to redeem their vouchers, and the ones who are decide it is inconvenient to wait in a line for more than 40 minutes to obtain the change they are entitled to,” claims the lawsuit. “The result is that players like Plaintiff discard their vouchers or even toss them into a fountain, the same way people toss actual change into fountains.
“The practical impact of not dispensing the amounts beyond whole dollars lures customers to make more wagers, especially since they have to trek to far ends of the casino to receive their change,” it adds.
Plaintiff Vincent DiBenedetto of East Meadow, New York, says when he was presented with cash-out tickets for small change, he fed them back into a slot machine or threw them away because of the inconvenience of redeeming them.
The lawsuit argues this is a “deceptive business practice” designed to make players gamble more and is in breach of the federal Consumer Fraud Act.
It notes that many casinos round player balances upwards to the nearest dollar when issuing cash-out tickets. However, a recent lawsuit accuses Caesars Entertainment’s Horseshoe Casino and Hotel in Bossier City of rounding down on slots receipts.
Build a Better Mousetrap
The Hard Rock Atlantic City is operated by Hard Rock International (HRI), owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. HRI has been approached for comment.
DiBenedetto is asking for monetary, statutory and/or punitive damages and interest.
“A Las Vegas casino owner once uttered that ‘when we put 50 machines in, I consider them 50 mousetraps. You have to have a mousetrap to catch a mouse,’” declares the lawsuit. “However, Defendant employs certain ‘mousetraps’ with no relationship to any odds and where patrons lose every single time.”
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