MGM Springfield sued over blackjack payouts in repeat of Encore Boston Harbor suit
August 1, 2019
SPRINGFIELD — Blackjack players have filed a class action lawsuit claiming MGM Springfield is paying less than state regulations permit on winning hands at some tables.
The claims, including in a lawsuit filed Monday in Hampden Superior Court, echo those made in a similar suit filed recently against Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor.
Holyoke lawyer Shawn Allyn represents the plaintiffs in the MGM Springfield suit.
Elaine Driscoll, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, said the commission is aware of the lawsuit and is evaluating it as it determines the appropriate next steps.
MGM Springfield said its following state regulations on the pay outs and cited an advisory opinion from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
“We comply with all Massachusetts Gaming Commission regulations and feel confident that this lawsuit will be found to have no merit,” said MGM Springfield spokesman Saverio Mancini.
The lawsuits allege that the casinos paid customers odds of 6 to 5 when a player is dealt a blackjack (cards adding up to 21, when Massachusetts law states that a player who is dealt a blackjack “shall be paid at odds of 3 to 2.”
According to Massachusetts Gaming Commission rules, winning bets pay out 1 to 1 unless the player is dealt a blackjack, in which case the winning bets is paid out at odds of 3 to 2 or odds of 6 to 5. The odds are posted at each table, the Gaming Commission says in its regulations.
In response to the suit against Encore, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission investigation and Enforcement Bureau issued a memo July 18 explaining the two different Blackjack variations and it included photos of the odds written on the felt covering of the blackjack table itself.
Encore Boston Harbor President Bob DeSalvio calls lawsuit ‘unfounded'; Mass. regulators say casino is in compliance
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission addressed a lawsuit filed earlier this week against Encore Boston Harbor alleging the casino shortchanged winners.
The Encore suit also said that Everett casino failed to refund slot credits.
The commission found that the machines that redeem the credits only pay out in bills, not coin. So this means the winners redeeming credits would get cash and then another redemption ticket for the change.
To get coins, patrons must get to the cage where a person working as a cashier redeems the tickets.
Encore placed explanatory signs on its machines in response to the complaint, according to the memo.
The change issue is not in the lawsuit against MGM Springfield.