Woman sues casino over $43M jackpot not paid


Katrina Bookman of Queens, New York, took a selfie of the moment she thought she had won $43 million on a slot machine at New York’s Resorts World Casino. The moment she went to collect her winnings was probably one of the greatest disappointments of her life.

Casino officials informed Bookman that the machine had experienced a “glitch,” and instead of giving her a boatload of cash, they instead offered her a free steak dinner and only $2.25. She said “no” to both.

Efforts to get the casino to give her more compensation have been fruitless, so the mom of four decided to launch a lawsuit against Resorts World on Wednesday, seeking the full amount of her stated winnings.

She will no doubt use the selfie, in which she is seen smiling next to the ‘Sphinx Slot Machine’s’ screen that reads “Printing cash ticket: $42,949,672.76,” as evidence.

In the lawsuit, Bookman claims that the Queens casino was “negligent” in providing proper maintenance on its machines. She further states that the experience has caused “mental anguish” and set her back financially, because she “lost the chance and/or opportunity to win.”

Attorney Alan Ripka said that the casino has not been responsive to his requests for more information about what why the slot machine malfunctioned.

“You can’t claim a machine is broken because you want it to be broken,” Ripka told CNN Money.

Ripka wondered if it was impossible for any other person who used that particular Sphinx slot machine to win in the days before Bookman played on it.

After quickly pulling the glitchy machine from the gaming floor, a casino spokesperson said in August that Bookman’s $43 million payout was obviously a malfunction, since that particular machine was only meant to have a maximum winning payout of $6,500.

The New York State Gaming Commission confirmed to WABC that the machine had indeed malfunctioned, noting that all machines have a stamp on them that states: “Malfunctions void all pays and plays.”

Pointing out, “The machine takes your money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win,” Ripka told reporters that he thought Bookman should at least be awarded the machine’s maximum payout.

Claiming alleged common-law negligence, breach of contract and negligent representation, Bookman’s lawsuit is also going after the casino’s parent company, Genting New York LLC, as well as International Game Technology, which made the Sphinx machine.

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