A Pennsylvania woman has sued a slot machine manufacturer associated with Caesars Interactive New Jersey for allegedly reneging on paying out on a six-figure jackpot.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Camden last week, Lisa Piluso of Yardley asserted that she won the prize on Oct. 2, 2020, only to be told otherwise by an American Gaming Services representative.
“I’m an experienced online player, and I was shocked when AGS officials, including the company president, told me they weren’t going to pay, even when I showed them the screenshot that I made of the $100,000 jackpot,” Piluso said in a statement issued to The Associated Press through her lawyer, Paul D’Amato.
In the Capital Gains game, the screen is said to have read, “If you land 15 money change symbols, you will win one of four progressive jackpots” — with another screen listing “GRAND $100,000.”
Instead, Piluso collected just $280. She said she spoke with a Caesars employee named “Monique,” who is said to have consulted with a supervisor and agreed with Piluso’s assertion that she had won the $100,000 jackpot.
But there was no followup by Caesars last year, and three weeks later Piluso contacted the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. In late November, Piluso said, she and her husband wound up on a conference call with several AGS employees.
‘Error or glitch’ to blame?
One AGS employee allegedly said that there were “three money balls that never should have appeared, and that there was an error or glitch in the game.”
He added that her prize should have been $330, not $280 — and that he would boost the payout to $1,000 because Piluso and her husband were “nice people” who had waited so long for a resolution.
“How many other players have been in the same situation but agreed to settle for a fraction of their winnings after being told they, too, were ‘nice people’?” Piluso asked, according to the statement released by her attorney. Neither AGS nor Caesars Interactive, which was not itself sued, responded to requests for comment last week, according to the AP.
Piluso rejected the AGS offer to boost her payout and instead hired D’Amato to represent her in a lawsuit. The suit seeks “treble damages” — or $300,000 — and also compensation for “mental anguish and emotional harm” suffered by Piluso from the experience.
An investigation by DGE led to a notice to Piluso in August that AGS had “discovered an issue/bug within the game” that failed to clear bonus symbols from previous rounds from a player’s screen.
“This error caused the patron(s) to believe that their bonus round winnings were higher than the actual winnings,” Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Russo-Belles wrote, according to AP.
That led to a $1,000 fine against AGS for failing to ensure that the game was functioning properly. More than a dozen other gamblers, according to an Attorney General’s Office spokesperson, also have filed complaints about the same Capital Gains game.