Pennsylvania woman and 13 others sue over gambling payout error

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (AP) – A Pennsylvania woman is suing the manufacturer of a popular online slot game, alleging it falsely refused to pay her a $100,000 jackpot because of “a bug” in the product.

New Jersey regulators revealed on Friday that 14 gamblers, including Lisa Piluso of Yardley, Pennsylvania, filed the same complaint against the company, saying they had won far more than the manufacturer says they were actually entitled to.

Piluso says Las Vegas-based American Gaming Systems offered her just $280, but later increased the offer to $1,000.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. district court in Camden, Piluso is accusing the company of consumer fraud and other wrongful actions related to the jackpot she was told she won while playing on her cell phone in New Jersey on January 2. October 2020.

“I am an experienced online player and I was shocked when AGS officials, including the CEO of the company, told me they wouldn’t pay even when I showed them the screenshot I took of the $100,000 jackpot ,” she said. in a statement issued through her attorney, Paul D’Amato.

“They said I won about $300, but then they offered me $1,000 and said we were ‘nice people,'” Piluso said. “How many other players have been in the same situation but agreed to settle for a fraction of their winnings after being told they were ‘nice people’ too?”

AGS did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

The Capital Gains game she played was on an online platform hosted by Caesars Interactive New Jersey, although neither the Caesars casino nor its online affiliate were named as defendants in the lawsuit. Caesars had no immediate comment.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has investigated the matter and wrote to Piluso on August 27 that AGS “discovered a problem/bug in the game” that erroneously failed to erase bonus symbols from previous rounds from a player’s screen.

“This error led the patron(s) to believe that their bonus round winnings were higher than their actual winnings,” Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Russo-Belles wrote.

She added that the state had taken regulatory action against AGS, but did not say what that action was.

In response to a request from The Associated Press, the attorney general’s office revealed that it had fined AGS $1,000 for failing to keep the game functioning properly. It could not immediately be determined whether the company paid the fine or whether it is contesting the case. An attorney to whom the violation notice against AGS was sent did not return a message on Friday, requesting comment.

The notice of the violation was not posted on the Gaming Enforcement Department’s website, which contains a bimonthly list of the enforcement actions taken by the Director.