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US – AGS sued for slot ‘bug’ jackpot

By - 12 November 2021

US slot company AGS is being sued after failing to pay out a jackpot due to a bug in one of its online games.

Lisa Piluso, a suburban Philadelphia resident who works as a property manager along the Jersey Shore near Atlantic City, today sued American Gaming Systems alleging that it cheated her out of a $100,000 jackpot she hit about one year ago while playing the company’s Capital Gains game. Her attorney, Paul R. D’Amato, of the D’Amato Law Firm, yesterday filed the federal consumer fraud, breach of contract, negligence and products liability lawsuit on Ms. Piluso’s behalf “so she can collect her lawful prize and hold the defendant accountable for its unconscionable and indefensible actions.”

Mr. D’Amato, whose practice is based in Egg Harbor Township, just a few miles from the Atlantic City casino district, said Ms. Piluso decided to file the lawsuit – believed to be the first of its kind – only after repeated, unsuccessful efforts to collect the $100,000 she won October 2, 2020 while playing the game on her cell phone using the Caesars Atlantic City online platform. He said the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) officials confirmed an investigation disclosed there was a “bug” in the game and that it took action against AGS, however, it did not provide details.

“As outlined in the complaint Ms. Piluso was initially told that she hit the jackpot. 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? I wonder if I hadn’t filed my complaint with DGE if would AGS have voluntarily come forward and disclosed the ‘bug’?”

Ms. Piluso, who manages a seasonal family resort in Wildwood, said after the lawsuit filing, “I’m 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’re 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’?”

Attorney D’Amato, a former New Jersey Assemblyman (served on the Tourism & Gaming Committee) who has closely observed the state’s casino industry since its inception in the 1970s, said: “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.”

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