5 Gamblers Who Won Casino Lawsuits
Believe it or not, the house doesn’t always win. That is to say, in spite of the odds being firmly stacked against the player, there are always times when a casino will concede to the fortune of an individual.
But this should come as unsurprising news, for how else might one expect these casinos to remain in existence. More specifically, we should also keep in mind that nefarious individuals and tactics happen from time to time and this is something the house needs to protect against in order to remain profitable.
For instance, the most notorious gambling lawsuit took place in 2014 when a lawsuit was filed by Crockford’s Casino in London against professional poker player, Phil Ivey. Just so you know, Crockford’s refused to payout when Ivey managed to win more than $9 million with his partner, Cheung Yin Sun. In the end, Ivey lost this lawsuit amidst controversy that suggested the pair were cheating the casino.
As if that’s not enough, Safa Abdulla Al Geabury entered a lengthy lawsuit with the Ritz Club in London back in 2015. After a big night of gambling, the Swiss businessman wrote a cheque for £2 million and proceeded to play on the roulette tables nearby.
But so far, so good, right?
It turns out that this cheque was never honoured and the Ritz Casino never received any payment from Al Geabury. What’s more, the Swiss national tried to escape paying the casino by insisting the casino should not have allowed him to play given his reputation for being a gambling addict.
As a result, it was decided that Al Geabury needed to pay this debt in full. In fact, even though the businessman was a self-proclaimed billionaire, he claimed that he was unable to pay the debt. Interestingly, Al Geabury was sentenced to ten months in prison.
In many ways, this is why so many individuals either avoid such court proceedings or wind up dropping their lawsuit over time. That being said, there are some instances in which such gamblers are on the winning side and in this article, we take a look at five instances in which gamblers beat the casino.
5 Gamblers Who Won Casino Lawsuits
- Unnamed Swiss Casino (Christian Hainz)
Christian Hainz famously won his lawsuit against two gambling venues in 2004. In short, Hainz had accused these venues of negligence and refraining to stop the self-proclaimed addict from losing more than $3 million. In fact, this is why we so often see players making similar claims, for Hainz was successful in convincing the courts that his “illness” should not have been manipulated by the casino.
Needless to say, proving this manipulation was not easy and the Swiss national was fortunate to have such an excellent attorney. What’s more, there was no proof that this casino had taken advantage of the player, who volunteered to play these games on his own accord. In the end, Christian Hainz was not able to claim full compensation for the incident but managed to receive more than $500,000 from the Swiss casino as a result of the court ruling in his favor.
- Imperial Palace in (James Grosjean)
James Grosjean is known as the number one blackjack player in the world and the creator of several methods that help players gain an advantage over the house. He is also a successful author and the youngest ever person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame for blackjack.
However, Grosjean is now more famous for winning a lawsuit against the Imperial Palace Casino. After being banned by the casino, Grosjean claimed he was illegally detained and was declared a hero when he won this case. Even better, Grosjean filed and won a separate lawsuit against Griffin Investigations for supplying inaccurate information to the casino. In total, Grosjean managed to win more than $600,000 between both lawsuits.
- Casino Bregenz (Behar Merlaku)
Behar Merlaku won £40 million on a slot machine in Casino Bregenz in Austria. However, officials at the casino ruled that no jackpot would be granted due to a software error that flasked momentarily on the screen. After refusing a free meal, Merlaku decided to take the casino to court and demanded at least £5 million in compensation from Bregenz.
More specifically, Merlaku cited his wife’s stress as being the cause of a deficiency in his newborn baby. Also, the casino did not have any officials check this win which further strengthened his case against the casino. In fact, this case was so impressive and strong that Bregenz Casino decided to settle the case out of court to the tune of £1 million. Just so you know, Merlaku used some of this money to pay for plastic surgery for his newborn
As with every other case on this list, it would seem that an ill-prepared case was most often the reason for these casinos losing the lawsuit.
- Eurobet (Bruno Venturi)
Eurobet has a lottery game which enables players to potentially turn a small wager into an impressive winning. For Bruno Venturi, this meant that his initial £20 was increased to over £650,000 in just a matter of hours, at which point Eurobet refused to make a payout.
According to the online casino, Venturi’s winnings were the result of a software glitch which saw him get more than 5,000 free bets over the course of three hours. In spite of Eurobet claiming that Venturi “must have known about this software error”, the judge ruled that Bruno had played by the rules and was entitled to the full amount of his winnings.
- Resorts Casino in (Ken Uston)
The story of Ken Uston is a legendary account in the world of gambling. Interestingly, this professional blackjack player was also an award winning author with some gaming and gambling related titles released in the 1970s and 1980s.
However, it was upon meeting a famous blackjack player called Al Francesco when Uston began making headway with gambling. Francesco invented a strategy that required “spotters” and Ken Uston was one such individual. Simply put, this spotter will count cards until they get a favorable count and then signal this instance to the player sitting at a table.
However, this technique eventually led to Uston being banned from every casino in New Jersey, at which point he filed a lawsuit against the Resorts International Casino. As a rule, Uston was insisting that card counters (spotters) should not be barred for being good at what they do. Ken Uston won this lawsuit when the judge outlined that every gambler should have the same right to access a casino. Moreover, this fact should not change unless the individual is posing a clear threat to the security and well-being of the casino or members of the casino.
It’s true that the legal system is most often on the side of casinos in the United States. However, with proper conduct and transparency, there is always an exception and legitimate claim that will result in a large payout for the gambler. In any case, these are just a few instances to show that the house doesn’t always win!
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash