November 12, 2021 Casino, Legal, Online

AGS hit with lawsuit over $100,000 jackpot dispute

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Plaintiff alleges she won prize playing Capital Gains on her phone.

Lisa Piluso, a suburban Philadelphia resident who works as a property manager along the Jersey Shore near Atlantic City, filed a lawsuit against American Gaming Systems , Inc., (AGS) alleging the company cheated her out of a $100,000 jackpot.

According to a press release issued Friday by her attorney, Paul R. D’Amato, of the D’Amato Law Firm, on October 2, 2020, Piluso was playing the company’s Capital Gains game on her cell phone using the Caesars Atlantic City online platform.

“As outlined in the complaint (Piluso v. AGS, Inc., US District Court) Ms. Piluso initially was told that she hit the jackpot,” D’Amato said in a statement. “Then, stories changed and she was informed there was a ‘bug’ in the game that resulted in her jackpot. How many other players have been denied their winnings under the same circumstances?”

D’Amato, whose practice is based in Egg Harbor Township, just a few miles from the Atlantic City casino district, said Piluso decided to file the lawsuit – which he said is believed to be the first of its kind – only after repeated, unsuccessful efforts to collect the $100,000 she won while playing the game.

According to the attorney, officials with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) confirmed an investigation disclosed there was a “bug” in the game and that it took action against AGS, however, the DGE did not provide details.

“I wonder if I hadn’t filed my complaint with DGE if AGS would have voluntarily come forward and disclosed the ‘bug’?” D’Amato added.

The attorney filed a suit in federal court alleging consumer fraud, breach of contract, negligence and products liability lawsuit on Piluso’s behalf, “so she can collect her lawful prize and hold the defendant accountable for its unconscionable and indefensible actions.”

Piluso, who manages a seasonal family resort in Wildwood, said after the lawsuit filing, “I am an experienced online player and I was shocked when AGS officials – including the company president - told me they weren't going to pay even when I showed them the screenshot that I made of the $100,000 jackpot. They said I actually won about $300, but they then offered me $1,000, saying we were ‘nice people.’ Can you imagine being told, ‘You won, but we are not required to pay you or anyone else in the same situation’? How many other players have been in the same situation but agreed to settle for a fraction of their winnings after being told they, too, were ‘nice people’?”

D’Amato is a former New Jersey assemblyman who served on the Tourism & Gaming Committee. He noted he has closely observed the state’s casino industry since its inception in the 1970s, saying, “New Jerseyans were told they could trust this industry and that it would be the financial salvation of Atlantic City, among other chronically financially ailing areas in the state. The conduct of the defendant toward Ms. Piluso is not only insensitive and reprehensible, it also calls into question the commitment to citizens of the state and other jurisdictions where it operates. Besides suing AGS, we are pressing state regulators for answers, including full disclosure of their investigation into this incident.”

As required by New Jersey law, state Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck was provided a copy of the filed complaint, D’Amato said.

AGS did not immediately respond to a request from Gaming America for a comment on the lawsuit.

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