Posted on: September 23, 2022, 11:20h.
Last updated on: September 23, 2022, 11:21h.
MGM Resorts International has been named in a lawsuit filed in Mississippi’s Southern District federal court. The plaintiff, a gambler, claims MGM is stealing millions of dollars each year from unsuspecting patrons through voucher redemption kiosks.
In an effort to reduce high-touch transactions amid the pandemic, MGM and many other prominent casino operators did away with dispensing change in their self-service cashier kiosks. When a voucher — say $14.34 — is redeemed through an MGM kiosk, the machine dispenses only $14 in bills. The device then issues the patron another voucher for 34 cents, which can only be exchanged at the casino cage with an actual person dispensing the change.
That change, most of which goes unclaimed according to the lawsuit, adds up quickly in MGM and the other casinos’ favor, so claims plaintiff Leane Scherer.
Casino operators enter into hundreds of thousands of transactions a day. When a casino starts taxing players by refusing to refund cash change, it racks up millions of dollars in profits,” attorneys representing Scherer wrote in the suit.
Scherer is seeking damages and a class action resolution, plus attorney and legal fees. MGM Resorts has not commented publicly on the litigation.
Customers Unaware of Being Short-Changed
The only way for a gambler inside an MGM Resorts casino to fully redeem their voucher if it includes amounts less than a full dollar is to visit the casino cage and deal directly with a cashier. Scherer says many gamblers are unaware of that condition, as the tickets do not tell the holder that change will not be dispensed at a self-service kiosk.
The lawsuit alleges that casinos, like many other businesses, dealt with a coin shortage amid the pandemic and efforts to curb high-touch transactions. Many casinos, the litigation continues, decided to store all of their change in their actual cages instead of spreading the coins among the many kiosks.
Wynn Las Vegas kiosks since mid-2020 have come with a sticker that reads, “Machine only dispenses cash, ticket will print for change. Please take ticket to the cashier to redeem.” But MGM has been far less forthcoming, Scherer alleges.
“For the last few years, Defendants have essentially been keeping the change off of hundreds of thousands of Gaming Vouchers, essentially robbing their customers a few cents at a time, on millions of transactions,” the lawsuit contends.
Beau Rivage Site of Incident
Scherer’s lawsuit was filed in Mississippi because she allegedly incurred her wrongful losses at MGM’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi.
Scherer claims she checked in to the casino on June 14, 2022. After putting $40 into a slot machine and losing more than half, she opted to cash out and the terminal issued her a voucher in the amount of $18.19.
After redeeming the voucher at a kiosk, she was given only $18 and a “TRU Ticket” in the amount of 19 cents. Scherer claims she was unaware of what to do with the “TRU” receipt and left the casino.
Scherer claims she visited and gambled inside other Biloxi casinos not operated by MGM during her trip and received exact change from those kiosks.