In Pennsylvania, a pair of gamblers has reportedly filed a federal lawsuit against SugarHouse Casino claiming that they had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to the venue’s incorrect use of shuffling machines and ‘illegitimate’ card decks.
According to a May 23 report from The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, the action was filed by area punters Anthony Mattia and William Vespe in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania the day before and alleges breach of contract, unjust enrichment and negligence.
The duo claims to have collectively lost in excess of $250,000 in the eight months from May of 2017 due to a failure on the part of SugarHouse Casino and its operator, Chicago-headquartered, Rush Street Gaming LLC, to provide a level playing field. The suit is purportedly seeking unspecified damages alongside the payment of court costs and attorney fees and comes after the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission levied a $100,000 fine against the Philadelphia casino in July for a string of infractions.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Mattia claims to have lost $147,026 to the eastern Pennsylvania venue during this period with Vespe said to have acknowledged a no less impressive deficit of $103,844. Their lawsuit purportedly cites last summer’s fine, which covered the eight months to January of 2018, in mentioning seven associated incidents where the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission had allegedly discovered casino employees ignoring warning lights on automated card shufflers used for games of poker, blackjack and baccarat.
The PA Gaming Commission determined that this disregard had moreover led to the casino using automatic shufflers for 26 rounds of blackjack involving some 122 hands in May of 2017 despite the machines’ six decks missing 16 cards. In a third incident cited by the lawsuit, the regulator is said to have discovered that a dealer servicing a SugarHouse Casino poker tournament in September of 2017 had inadvertently set a shuffling machine to arrange cards in sequential order by suit rather than randomly.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a final associated infraction mentioned in the lawsuit saw the Gaming Commission chastise SugarHouse Casino during the same period for allowing its dealers to utilize decks for games of Spanish 21 featuring too many cards.
Conrad Benedetto, an attorney working on behalf of Mattia and Vespe, reportedly told the newspaper that he believes it is ‘fair to question the integrity of the thousands of card games’ played inside the SugarHouse Casino ‘using that equipment and those decks’ due to the fact that the venue had been found to be utilizing ‘broken equipment and ‘illegitimate’ decks for at least seven months.’
However, an unidentified spokesperson for the SugarHouse Casino reportedly told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the venue is set to refute all of the claims contained within the lawsuit as ‘the integrity of our gaming operations is of the utmost importance.’
Reportedly read a statement from the casino spokesperson…
“We have disciplined or terminated the employees responsible and revised procedures to help prevent recurrence. We deny the claims made by the individuals in this lawsuit and cannot comment further on pending litigation.”