Last year, Katrina Bookman became an international story when she won a $43 million slots jackpot at Resorts World Casino in New York City.
But the catch is that Resorts World refused to pay up after citing a machine malfunction. And now, Bookman is suing to get what she believes is rightfully hers.
Let’s look at this story and discuss how Bookman may have tough luck when considering previous slots jackpot cases.
Bookman Refuses to Settle for a Steak Dinner
After Bookman was told that she didn’t win a $43 million payout – which would’ve been a Guinness World Record – she was offered a steak dinner and $2.25 instead.
CNN Money reports that Bookman didn’t accept either consolation prize and will be suing instead.
Bookman’s attorney, Alan Ripka, has been fighting for months to get Resorts World to pay up. When this got Ripka nowhere, he filed a lawsuit on June 14.
“You can’t claim a machine is broken because you want it to be broken. Does that mean it wasn’t inspected? Does it mean it wasn’t maintained?,” Ripka said. “And if so, does that mean that people that played there before [Bookman] had zero chance of winning?”
The lawsuit alleges that Resorts World Casino was “negligent” in not properly maintaining equipment. It also states that Bookman has suffered “mental anguish” in the aftermath of the slots jackpot incident.
Besides seeking money from Resorts World (Genting New York LLC), the suit also lists gamemaker International Game Technology (IGT) as a defendant. Ripka wants the full $43 million amount from a combination of IGT and Genting New York.
What are Bookman’s Chances of Winning?
Despite Resorts World’s Sphinx slot machine malfunctioning, Bookman’s case doesn’t look good. Here are a few similar cases that prove this:
– Pauline McKee won a $41.8 million jackpot at Isle Casino. But courts ruled that it was a machine malfunction and awarded her nothing.
– Veronica Castillo also lost a machine malfunction case after appearing to win an $8 million jackpot.
– Austria’s Behar Merlaku won a £40 million slots jackpot due to a malfunction. He settled for £1 million out of court. The reason why is because his child was born with a birth defect, which he argued was due to his wife’s emotional distress.
That said, Katrina Bookman probably isn’t going to be awarded the jackpot. But if she can prove her emotional distress, then she might get some money like Merlaku.