Jackpot Lawsuit vs. L.A. Casinos Tossed Out

by , Apr 19, 2010 | 11:54 pm

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 “no purchase necessary.”

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 didn’t jibe with the casinos’ claim the games did not require a purchase to play. Judge Emile H. Elias ruled both that players couldn’t sue to recover gambling losses, and that Chae and Kim “chose to play the games despite the knowledge that they would be charged” the jackpot fee.

In a state law dating back to 1989, jackpot games are considered “illegal lotteries” 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 “no purchase necessary,” a disclaimer which apparently includes a promise to deal jackpot games without a fee upon request.

Sounds sort of like those giveaways at McDonald’s in which one doesn’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, “there are very few players, if any” who request to play jackpot games without paying the fee. Schneiderman also notes that all the games the Commerce offers “are approved by the state, including jackpot games,” and so the casinos were confident they’d win the case.

Read the full article here.

One Comment to “Jackpot Lawsuit vs. L.A. Casinos Tossed Out”

  1. Losty

    But, if you DID ask to play without paying, would they just refuse service to you, or would they let you play?

    Sounds like it’s +EV without paying for it, if you get to play at all..