The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a L.A. County Superior Court Judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by two poker players against five L.A. County casinos in which the players had contended the casinos falsely advertised their jackpot games in which a buck was taken from pots for the jackpot as being â€œno purchase necessary.â€
In May 2009, poker players Dennis Chae and Jeff Kim sued five L.A. County casinos — the Bicycle, the Commerce, Hawaiian Gardens, Hollywood Park, and the Hustler — arguing that the $1 taken from the pots in jackpot games didnâ€™t jibe with the casinosâ€™ claim the games did not require a purchase to play. Judge Emile H. Elias ruled both that players couldnâ€™t sue to recover gambling losses, and that Chae and Kim â€œchose to play the games despite the knowledge that they would be chargedâ€ the jackpot fee.
In a state law dating back to 1989, jackpot games are considered â€œillegal lotteriesâ€ in California if they require a fee to win. Since the mid-1990s, casinos have therefore advertised poker games in which a jackpot is taken as â€œno purchase necessary,â€ a disclaimer which apparently includes a promise to deal jackpot games without a fee upon request.
Sounds sort of like those giveaways at McDonaldâ€™s in which one doesnâ€™t technically have to buy a Big Mac and fries to play, but folks rarely ask to play without buying something. As Commerce Casino general counsel Andy Schneiderman explains, â€œthere are very few players, if anyâ€ who request to play jackpot games without paying the fee. Schneiderman also notes that all the games the Commerce offers â€œare approved by the state, including jackpot games,â€ and so the casinos were confident theyâ€™d win the case.
Read the full article here.