Katrina Bookman gained global prominence last year after she seemed to win $43 million on a “Sphinx Slot Machine” at Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York, which would have been the highest prize ever won on a slot machine in US history. She took a selfie with her phone, feeling her life had been permanently transformed.
When Bookman arrived to claim her reward a casino employee informed her that she had not won anything at all and provided her only a free steak supper and $2.25.
Bookman’s lawyer stated that she refused both the supper and the $2.25. “Casino workers were able to ascertain that the amount shown on the penny slot was the product of an evident mal-function — a fact later validated by the New York State Gaming Commission,” Resorts World spokesperson Dan Bank said at the time. In August, the New York State Gaming Commission reported the machine included a notice that said, “Mal-functions nullify all payments and spins.”
Alan Ripka, Bookman’s attorney, claims he has been trying for months to persuade the casino to pay additional money to Bookman, but to no effect. As a result, he filed a complaint on June 14th. The casino’s explanations, according to Ripka, are “ludicrous.” “It’s not possible to assert that a machine is broken because you wish it to be broken. Is this to imply that it was not inspected? Is this a sign that it wasn’t looked after?, “CNNMoney spoke with Ripka. “If that’s the case, does it indicate that everybody who played before [Bookman] had no possibility of winning?”
Ripka further stated that he approached Resorts World Casino for an explanation as to why the machine stopped functioning, but that the corporation did not respond. According to the complaint, Resorts World Casino was “guilty of negligence” in failing to maintain its lottery equipment. It further claims that the event caused Bookman “mental anguish” and that she suffered a “substantial” financial loss since she “missed the possibility and/or chance to win” on the device.
In addition to Resorts World Casino, the complaint names video lottery operator Genting New York LLC and slot machine manufacturer International Game Technology as respondents. Ripkin intends to seek $43 million from the Casino owner. The casino did not answer CNNMoney’s seeking comment on the complaint right away. The complaint is identical to one filed against an Iowa casino previously. According to the Chicago Tribune, a judge found in favour of Isle Casino Hotel after a 90-year-old grandmother won $41 million on a penny slot machine. According to the publication, the court determined that “the game’s regulations restricted winnings at $10,000 and didn’t enable extras.”