A New York woman is to sue Resorts World Casino New York City after an apparent slot machine malfunction in August denied the mother-of-four from collecting an almost $43 million apparent jackpot.
According to a report from local television broadcaster WABC-TV, Katrina Bookman was surrounded by friends and onlookers when she won a game on the Sphinx slot she had been enjoying at the Queens venue and was greeted with a message that read “Printing cash ticket: $42,949,672.76”.
However, Resorts World Casino New York City, which is operated by Genting Group, immediately declared that the machine had displayed the winning message in error with Bookman only entitled to her stake of $2.25 along with a complimentary steak dinner.
“I kept thinking about my family,” Bookman, who was raised in foster care and became homeless as a teen before persevering to see all of her children graduate from high school, told WABC-TV. “The struggle I’ve been through, it’s hard to cope.”
Resorts World Casino New York City declared that the slot had malfunctioned as the machine is only permitted by law to offer a maximum payout of $6,500. It revealed that the unit in question had been immediately pulled from the floor for repairs and pointed to an inscription affixed to all slots in the state that reads “malfunctions void all pays and plays”.
“They win and the house doesn’t want to pay out,” said Alan Ripka, an attorney working on behalf of Bookman. “To me that’s unfair. The machine takes your money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win.”
At the very least, Ripka explained that his client should receive the maximum prize of $6,500 although Bookman maintains that she is still entitled to the over $42 million jackpot, which is an assertion that has been helped by a photo of the winning message taken at the time by an onlooker.
“I feel I should win the [maximum] and I will treat him to a steak dinner,” Bookman told WABC-TV.