Poker news | Aug 04, 2021
BetMGM Refuses to Pay $3.2m in Winnings to Michigan Woman – Lawsuit Filed
By RTR Dennis
Jacqueline Davis experienced an amazing online gambling run at Michigan's BetMGM Casino. The Detroit native turned a $50 deposit into almost $3.3 million worth of winnings.
BetMGM initially allowed Davis to withdraw $100,000. However, they refused to let her cash out the remaining $3.18 million. The MGM Resorts-owned online casino claims that Davis won through a glitch.
Gambling Online Around the Clock
In March 2021, Davis visited the local MGM Grand Detroit and placed a $50 deposit for the BetMGM website. Many Michigan casinos accept in-person deposits for their associated online casinos.
Davis proceeded to play Luck o' the Irish slot for almost a week straight. She initially started with a $4.50 bet but increased this amount more and more as the winnings poured in. As her run continued, Davis was betting $5,000 per spin—the highest wager available in the game.
Her profits reached $11 million at one point. The 36-year-old was gambling around the clock to capitalize on the opportunity. "Who sleeps when they're winning money," she rhetorically asked.
Davis Files Lawsuit Against MGM Resorts
Davis successfully requested and received a $100,000 withdrawal from BetMGM. The problems started, however, when she tried cashing out more money.
The online casino froze Davis' account and informed her that she wouldn't receive any more money. They claimed Luck o' the Irish had a glitch that allowed her to win again and again.
Jacqueline responded by hiring a lawyer, David S. Steingold, who then contacted MGM Resorts about getting the rest of the funds.
BetMGM countered by offering an unfavorable settlement. They would let her keep the $100k, but she'd need to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding the game's glitch.
Details of Davis' Lawsuit Emerge
Davis' lawsuit uses 57 pages to detail how BetMGM failed to live on to their own terms and conditions. The civil complaint goes on to accuse the online casino of fraud and breach of contract.
According to the documents, a BetMGM representative reached out and congratulated her on the win. However, another rep contacted her later about the glitch.
The casino then offered the previously described deal, whereby she could keep the $100k that she’d already cashed out. In exchange, Davis would need to sign a confidentiality agreement.
After the Detroit native rejected this offer, BetMGM added the proposed deal. Davis would keep the $100k and an additional $23,000 in cash or $75,000 in gaming credits—her choice. She rejected this proposal as well.
Will Davis Win the Lawsuit?
All gambling jurisdictions have laws in place that protect casinos in the event of glitches. Players usually aren’t successful when they try to recoup jackpots that are the result of malfunctions.
Take the case of Katrina Bookman for example. Bookman thought that she’d won a $43 million jackpot while playing at Resorts World Casino (Queens, NYC).
However, New York gaming regulators discovered that Bookman’s win was the result of a malfunction. She was only offered a steak dinner for the dilemma. Bookman sued the casino for $43m, but her lawsuit didn’t go anywhere.
An 87-year-old grandma named Pauline McKee thought that she’d won a $41.8 million jackpot at Iowa’s Isle Casino.
She also sued for the jackpot and ended up losing in court. The judge cited how the Miss Kitty slot she played featured a disclaimer: “Malfunction voids all pays and plays.”
Jacqueline Davis is facing an uphill battle when looking at these cases. However, her situation is also different from the others.
First off, BetMGM actually paid her $100,000 already. Steingold will argue that this payment is an admission that BetMGM thought she legitimately won.
Second, the online casino must provide proof that Luck o’ the Irish did indeed malfunction. So far, no evidence of a glitch has been made public. The casino could be keeping such information under wraps, though.
In the end, Davis’ $100,000 in winnings could be on the line. If BetMGM indeed proves that the win was due to a malfunction, then she might have to repay the $100k.
The upside for Davis, though, is that she could get the additional $3.18 million that’s still sitting in her account.