Michigan Supreme Court To Rule On Gambler’s Claim BetMGM Owes Her $3.2M

Written By Corey Sharp on May 30, 2024
Michigan Supreme Court building. The Michigan Supreme Court will hear a case from a woman accusing BetMGM of refusing to pay $3.2 million she claims she won online.

The Michigan Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it will hear a case involving BetMGM refusing to pay a Detroit woman $3.2 million in alleged online casino winnings.

It has taken nearly three years to get to this point. PlayMichigan first brought you an exclusive on it back in June 2021.

BetMGM Casino Michigan is claiming the money Jacqueline Davis says she is owed was a mistake because of a glitch within the slot game.

How BetMGM fraud case reached the Michigan Supreme Court

Davis has come up empty, to this point, in an attempt to collect $3.2 million she says she won playing BetMGM’s Luck o’ the Roulette slot in March 2021.

According to Law360, a Wayne County Circuit Court concluded that Davis couldn’t bring her lawsuit forward. The court ruled her claims were preempted by the state’s 2019 Lawful Internet Gaming Act.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board is tasked with enforcing LIGA. That jurisdiction was upheld by a Michigan Court of Appeals panel in September 2023 decision.

However, now the Supreme Court approved Davis’ petition for leave to appeal.

Davis argued in her petition that there was no forum to bring up claims of fraud or breach of contract in the state of Michigan under the current laws.

While Davis filed a complaint with the operator and the MGCB, she was not allowed to participate in the investigation and was not made aware of the of the outcome. That suggests the MGCB does not have authority to resolve player disputes, she argued.

Davis also contested in her petition to the Supreme Court that there is no law that explains the process of disputes between players and operators.

“The focus of the current process is on whether the casino violated a rule that would impact its license, not on providing a remedy to patrons,” Davis said in her petition, according to Law360.

BetMGM failed to notify game malfunction to player

According to a 57-page complaint, Davis had played the slot game for five days straight. What started out as $50 deposit and $4.50 spins, increased to $150. Then she started betting the maximum of $5,000.

Over the course of those five days, Davis racked up $3.2 million in her account. Davis then went to MGM Grand Detroit to collect $100,000 in cash. After she collected, her account was suspended and the rest of her balance was not paid.

BetMGM’s Jeremy N. Kolman said a month later that Davis earned the money based on malfunctions of the game.

According to the original complaint, Kolman wrote in 2021 that the malfunction “resulted in certain win amounts being multiplied when transferred from the onscreen balance to the patron’s wallet. This resulted in an inaccurate and inflated amount being awarded to Ms. Davis’s wallet despite Ms. Davis not actually winning that amount in the game.”

However, Davis was unaware, and BetMGM didn’t tell her, either. In fact, Davis claimed that a BetMGM VIP employee allegedly congratulated her on the “Big Win.”

Davis has not been successful to this point. But, the Michigan Supreme Court feels there is merit in looking at the case. It is giving Davis a voice against one of the more powerful gambling companies in the world.

A similar case is also playing out in New Jersey. PlayNJ is reporting 72-year-old Roney Beal intends to sue Bally’s Atlantic City after the casino denied her the $2.55 million she believed she won playing a Wheel of Fortune slot machine.

How to file a complaint with the MGCB

The MGCB maintains forms on its website patrons can use to file complaints against:

Before filling out a form to report a problem with an online operator, the MGCB says customers must first attempt to resolve the dispute with the Internet gaming provider.

“This means sending your complaint to the Internet gaming provider and allowing them at least 10 days to respond to your complaint. If you have not taken this step, please select your Internet gaming provider from the list below and file your complaint directly with them.”

Photo by Carlos Osorio AP Photo
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp joined Catena Media in 2022 and is the go-to expert for Michigan gambling. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, he previously worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia as a sports journalist and content producer. In Corey’s role as Lead Writer for PlayMichigan, he works alongside a talented team of expert journalists and analysts to bring you the most comprehensive and accurate coverage of gambling news in Michigan. Corey’s contacts around the industry makes him a trusted source. Corey produces daily stories and features about the gambling space. Corey graduated from Holy Family University in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.

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