Gaming regulators in Massachusetts say that a preliminary investigation shows that the newly-opened Encore Boston Harbor is not cheating gamblers out of their winnings as alleged in a class-action suit filed on July 15, 2019, in Middlesex Superior Court.
In the lawsuit filed on Monday, a gambler claims that in violation of state law the luxury resort and casino is tilting the payout odds in a variant of a blackjack game, that instead of getting a 3:2 payoff, they are getting less money at a 6:5 payoff.
“no way, shape, or form that any customer is not getting exactly what they should get”
What are the ODDS:
In a traditional blackjack game, a “natural” or blackjack pays 3 to 2, so if you bet $10 you’d make $5 on a winning draw and be paid $15, whereas a game paying 6 to 5 only pays $12 on the same $10 bet, subsequently increasing the house edge from 0.15% to 1.45%.
According to local media reports, at a Thursday meeting of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, photos of the gaming tables at the casino were posted claiming that they (the tables) are clearly marked regarding the odds (6:5) being paid, however, attorney Joshua Garick, who filed the suit is apparently not convinced and will move forward. (An EXAMPLE of a table clearly marked with the 6 to 5 payout is shown to the right)
Slot credit refund:
The lawsuit also claims that the resort and casino located in Everett is failing to refund slot credits when a player cashes out on a slot machine, according to a ‘Class Action Complaint and Jury Demand‘ (pdf) published by the Law Offices of Joshua N. Garick on July 15, as reported by WHDH 7News.
After the claims were reviewed by the commission’s Investigation and Enforcement Bureau, it was determined “preliminarily” that the owner of the New England resort, Wynn Resorts (WYNN), is complying with state gambling regulations for blackjack payouts and that it is not rounding down slot machine payouts. However, chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein says that Encore will still be monitored. “We want to make sure we review matters fairly, objectively and transparently,” said Judd-Stein, according to WBZ-TV Channel 4 News.
Commenting on the allegation, industry veteran and president of Encore Boston Harbor, Robert DeSalvio, said…
“There is no way, shape, or form that any customer is not getting exactly what they should get and nor is there any opportunity at the end of the year for unclaimed money to come back to the property.”
“The claims in the lawsuit are false and unfounded,” added DeSalvio, as reported by the news agency.
Regulators, however, did reportedly note that the venue’s redemption machines for slot game winnings do not dispense coins, that for winnings less than $1, gamblers have to go to casino cashiers. And suggested that improved signage be provided for customers. Casino officials reportedly said that they will consider options to make for more convenient coin redemption.
Garick, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on Monday, reportedly told 7News that his firm intends to “fully raise the issues to a judge.”
Suit claims conditions aren’t met:
The Monday report informs that state rules allow the lower 6:5 payout at casinos, but only when other conditions are met. And that the lawsuit alleges that Encore Boston Harbor has violated state law by coupling the 6:5 payout with “traditional rules that are also favorable to the house.”
It goes on to report that according to the lawsuit, it is required that the lower payout games be played with one or two decks, rather than the traditional six to eight. Players must also be dealt two cards face down, after which they are allowed to look at. Adding that the lawsuit states that in some instances of 6:5 games, the Everett casino doesn’t allow players to touch the cards and that they (cards) are dealt face up. Also claimed int he legal fling is that in some cases at Encore, there are “no single or two deck shoes” at the 6-to-5 games.
Situated on the historic Mystic River waterfront, the $2.6 billion five-star luxury resort opened on Sunday, June 23, 2019, and is one of two Wynn Resorts Ltd properties in the U.S., the other being Wynn Las Vegas.