(Atlantic City, NJ) – A 79-year-old widow who claimed she was cheated out of a slots jackpot at Harrah’s Resort has reached a settlement with the casino just days before her lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial.
Angela Domino, of Galloway Township, sued Harrah’s and slot machine manufacturer International Gaming Technology after she was denied an $86,000 jackpot she thought she won May 3, 2007.
Harrah’s spokeswoman Alyce Parker and Domino’s attorney, John M. Donnelly, confirmed Thursday that a settlement was reached but said terms are confidential. They declined further comment.
“The matter has been resolved by the parties subject to a confidentiality agreement,” Donnelly said.
Reached at home, Domino also declined to comment.
The settlement ends a dispute that attracted national media coverage and generated bad publicity for Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., the world’s largest casino company.
Harrah’s paid Domino only a $20,000 prize even though she insisted the jackpot meter on her 5-cent progressive slot machine had flashed $86,000. Officials at Harrah’s told her that a gambler playing the same system of Spin Poker progressive slots at Trump Marina Hotel Casino had actually won the $86,000 jackpot three minutes earlier.
Progressive slot machines are linked electronically in casinos throughout Atlantic City to create mega-jackpots that grow each time a bet is placed. In the case of Spin Poker, the meter would reset to a minimum prize of $20,000 after a jackpot was won.
Domino initially refused to accept the $20,000, although it was paid to her later. Seeking the full $86,000 jackpot, she filed a lawsuit contending she was a victim of fraud.
A trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday in state Superior Court. An arbitration panel that heard the dispute earlier this year ruled that Domino deserved the $86,000 jackpot. However, the panel’s findings were nonbinding and Harrah’s exercised its right to reject the ruling.
The above story was originally published Friday, May 22, 2009 in The Press of Atlantic City by Donald Wittkowski, Staff Writer