Woman Sues Rivers Casino Schenectady for $25,000 Denied Prize Due to Missing Asterisk

Posted on: September 25, 2018, 10:00h. 

Last updated on: September 25, 2018, 05:52h.

Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, Upstate New York, faces a legal suit from a disgruntled gambler who believes she was robbed of her rightful claim to a brand new Jaguar XE, The Daily Gazette reports.

Rivers Casino
Should the Rivers Casino & Hotel in Schenectady have added an asterisk to the description of its main prize draw to point customers towards terms and conditions? One woman believes it should and that the casino owes her a brand-new Jaguar XE. (Image: Rush Street Gaming)

Deana Dipfoli’s name was the first out of the hat in a promotional prize draw to win the luxury car, or $25,000 in cash, but the Albany County resident was not present when the draw was made and so the prize went to someone else.

Dipfoli’s case hinges on an absent asterisk. Her lawsuit claims that promotional material for the “Jaguar XE Giveaway” stated that winners who were not present to claim prizes in the draws leading up to the main prize draw would receive lesser prizes, while a redraw would determine an alternative winner.

In each case, an asterisk in the text pointed to the small-sprint t&c’s, apart from the text describing the main draw – for the new Jaguar or $25,000. Since there was no asterisk, the condition placed on “winner’s presence” did not apply, argues Dipfoli’s lawyer, Alan Ripka.

The Bottom Line

In fact, Rikpa believes there can be no alternative legal interpretation: not only did the casino fail to put a condition on claiming the prize, it “demonstrated it knew such a condition needed to be clearly stated,” he told the The Daily Gazette.

“That’s the bottom line for the case,” he said. “To me, this is summary judgement.”

The lawsuit names as defendants the Rivers Casino and its parent corporation Rush Street Gaming and Rush Street Gaming Partners. It seeks payment of the prize, plus legal fees.

Rivers refused to comment on the situation when contacted by The Daily Gazette because the litigation was ongoing.

Slot Malfunction Led to $40 Million ‘Jackpot’

Rikpa has previous experience in fighting the corner of players who have been denied prizes by casinos. He is also representing Katrina Bookman, who momentarily believed that she’d won $42,949,672 on a slot machine at the Resorts World Casino in Queens.

It would have been the largest slot machine payout in history had the slot machine in question not been malfunctioning horribly at the time. Resorts World informed Bookman the next day that it did not pay out on malfunctions and downgraded her $40 million prize to a free steak dinner.

Bookman sued operator Genting and slots manufacturer IGT for negligence and breach of contract. The case is ongoing.

In similar past cases, the courts have ruled with the casinos but Rikpa believes it’s time that changed.

“There is a lot of this all over the country,” he said. “They think these people have no recourse.”