(Atlantic City, NJ) Angela Domino, a 70 year-old resident of Smithville, New Jersey, has filed a NJ Superior Court Complaint against casino gaming slot machine manufacturer International Game Technology (IGT) and Harrah’s Casino Atlantic City after being denied approximately $86,000 in winnings she claims are rightfully hers. The Complaint was filed on behalf of Mrs. Domino by attorney John Donnelly, Esq. of Levine, Staller, Sklar, Chan, Brown & Donnelly, P.A. in Atlantic City.
Ms. Domino’s jackpot win occurred in May of 2007 as she was visiting Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City and playing on an IGT “Spin Poker” progressive slot machine. Progressive slot machines are part of a network of machines where the winnings are not based on a fixed amount. Instead, as more patrons play the slot machines linked to the network (which may involve several casinos at one time), the potential jackpot amount, which is displayed on a screen on or above the machines, continuously grows until someone wins and the jackpot amount resets to a predetermined starting point.
Ms. Domino asserts, and several witnesses confirm, that at one point in the evening, when the top progressive jackpot prize screen displayed about $86,000, she inserted her coins and spun the reels. When the reels on Ms. Domino’s machine stopped spinning, the jackpot meter indicated that she had won the top progressive prize of approximately $86,000. Shortly after Ms. Domino won the jackpot, representatives from both the casino and IGT arrived at her machine, and both representatives verified that she had won the top progressive prize. However, some time after Ms. Domino’s winning combination appeared on her machine, the jackpot display reset to its base prize level of $20,000. Incredibly, the casino’s representatives then informed Ms. Domino that, even though the jackpot display showed an $86,000 prize at the time she won her jackpot, she was not entitled to that amount because a patron at another casino had hit a Spin Poker jackpot three minutes before she did. Ms. Domino, shocked at the news, protested vehemently and refused to accept the $20,000 amount offered to her.
IGT claims that the Spin Poker jackpot display immediately reset to $20,000 after the first winner won their jackpot, which was three minutes before Ms. Domino won her jackpot. Ms. Domino, and the eye witnesses to her jackpot, all claim that the $86,000 amount was on the jackpot display when Ms. Domino won the jackpot and did not reset to $20,000 until minutes after the winning reels on Ms. Domino’s machine stopped spinning. Despite requests by Ms. Domino’s attorney, IGT has been unable to produce any document showing the time the jackpot display actually reset to $20,000.
“It is an incredibly unfortunate situation,” said John Donnelly. “Here, we have a local senior citizen and a regular visitor to Atlantic City enjoying an evening at one of her favorite casinos, winning a fantastic prize in front of a number of witnesses, being congratulated on winning the top progressive prize by several casino representatives, and now IGT, the Goliath of casino slot machine manufacturers, is denying her the $86,000 prize she was playing for, and in fact won, when she pulled her slot machine handle. Prior to filing the Complaint, we reached out several times to IGT and Harrah’s to give them an opportunity to make things right. It is a wrong we hope the Courts will help us right very soon.”
The Complaint seeks the approximate $86,000 jackpot amount along with damages, court costs and attorneys fees.