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Gamblers’ suit against Encore moves to federal court

Boston Herald

Andrew Martinez

August 5, 2019

A gambler’s lawsuit accusing Encore Boston Harbor of tilting blackjack payout odds has moved to federal court, court filings from Monday show.

The lawsuit, filed last month in Middlesex Superior Court against Encore Boston Harbor and Wynn Resorts, claims the Everett casino titled blackjack payout odds at 6 to 5 instead of 3 to 2, in violation of state law. The suit claims the change could reduce payouts by $85,440 each day, translating to the $30 million in profits the class-action suit demands.

The lawsuit, which claims “there are thousands of class members,” was filed on behalf of Richard Schuster, of New York, the plaintiff.

Days after the suit was filed, a member of the investigative bureau of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission told the board its “gaming agents reviewed the claims and have preliminarily found Encore to be in compliance with the commission’s rules and regulations for paying out blackjack wins.”

Encore Boston Harbor president Bob DeSalvio also said last month “the claims in the lawsuit are false and unfounded.”

“Every customer gets every penny that they deserve at Encore Boston Harbor,” he said in July, “And never would we engage in a practice that would actually keep any of our customers’ money.”

According to court filings, federal Judge Mark Wolf has been assigned to the case, and no hearings or deadlines have been set.

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