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MGM Shortchanges Gamblers by Millions of Dollars, Suit Alleges

Sept. 22, 2022, 2:09 PM

MGM Resorts International literally keeps the change when casino players cash out slot machine credits, shorting them by millions of dollars, a new proposed class action in Mississippi federal court alleges.

Slot machine players pay for credits on the machine with cash or a credit card. If a play generates a winning combination, the player’s credits increase. A losing play decreases the credit count.

Sometimes, players decide to stop while they still have credits on the machine. This is where the problem arises, New Orleans resident Leane Scherer says in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

When a player cashes out, the slot machine generates a voucher reflecting the amount owed by the casino to the player, she says.

Vouchers are redeemed at kiosks that don’t pay exact change, Scherer says—they round down to the nearest dollar, pay that amount in cash, and generate a 30-day ticket for the balance that can be redeemed only at a cashier window.

But there are no signs posted saying the kiosks don’t dispense change, and no notice on the ticket that it can be cashed only by a cashier, she alleges.

Casino patrons “have been deprived, little by little, of millions of dollars” by MGM Resorts’ no-change policy, she says.

Causes of Action: Breach of contract; conversion; unjust enrichment; quantum meruit.

Relief: Damages; attorneys’ fees and costs.

Potential class size: Unknown number of patrons who played at an MGM Resorts casino after Sept. 19, 2012, and were deprived of leftover change.

Response: MGM Resorts declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Attorneys: Sternberg, Naccari & White LLC and Martzell, Bickford, & Centola APC represent Scherer and the proposed class.

The case is Scherer v. MGM Resorts Int’l, S.D. Miss., No. 1:22-cv-00258, complaint 9/21/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com