The brand-new Encore Boston Harbor Casino is being sued for allegedly cheating its customers at the blackjack table and slot machines, though the casino insists it is playing by the rules.
The lawsuit, filed by New Yorker Richard Schuster, alleges that the casino could benefit by taking in an extra $85,440.00 each day from the scheme, "which could mean an additional $30 million more in profits to Encore each year."
The suit was filed in Middlesex County Superior Court the same day Massachusetts gaming officials announced that Encore Casino earned nearly $17 million in its first week.
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The lawsuit accuses the casino of breaking the law by paying its customers odds of 6 to 5 instead of 3 to 2 while playing blackjack, and said that "Massachusetts law clearly and unambiguously states that a player who is dealt a blackjack shall be paid at odds of 3 to 2."
Encore officials pointed to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission rulebook, which explicitly says that all winning wages in blackjack must be paid out at odds of 1 to 1, 3 to 2, or 6 to 5.
"In casino gaming, it is said that the house always wins," Schuster's lawsuit says. "With the odds so drastically in its favor, it is unfathomable that a casino would intentionally resort to cheating so as to increase its statistical edge over the player even more."
The gaming commission is "aware of the lawsuit and ... reviewing its contents to determine next steps," officials said in a statement.
On Monday, the commission had announced that Encore brought in $16.8 million in gambling revenue and paid $4.2 million in state taxes in its first week of operation. The casino earned more money in a week than Plainridge Park did all month, and was just $3 million shy of MGM Springfield's total monthly earnings.