Lawsuit alleges Encore casino cheated gamblers on payouts

Lawsuit alleges Encore casino shifted odds on Blackjack games

EVERETT, Mass. — Encore Boston Harbor, the new casino less than one month old, was hit with a lawsuit accusing the casino of cheating patrons out money.

The lawsuit was filed the same day the Massachusetts Gaming Commission published the casino's hefty first week of play where it raked in $16.7 million. The litigation claims that the shimmering new $2.6-billion casino worked to ensure the house won.

The Encore has disregarded Massachusetts law and ignored established rules of the game of Blackjack to increase its statistical advantage and lower the lawful payouts owed to its customers

"The purpose of the lawsuit is to seek compensation for people that were playing at blackjack tables where they offered 6-5 odds and payouts instead of the 3-2 odds, which was required under Massachusetts laws," said Joshua Garick, the plaintiff's attorney.

That plaintiff is A. Richard Shuster, a New York man who claims he played at Encore earlier this summer and lost because odds were tilted in favor of the casino. The suit alleges that by shifting the odds, Encore could be stealing as much as $85,000 per day from customers - $30 million per year.

"It seems to me by having less favorable payouts to the player, that it's something that Encore is doing intentionally so as to increase their profits," Garick said.

It doesn't stop there, slots are also part of the suit, which alleges that Encore's slot machines pay with vouchers for whole dollars, not change.

Encore Boston Harbor responded to the lawsuit:

Since opening, Encore Boston Harbor follows the Massachusetts Gaming Commission regulations for blackjack payouts […] Regarding slot machine ticket redemption, we follow the MGC regulations for slot machine ticket redemption and our operational procedures have been approved by the MGC.

The Mass. Gaming Commission says they are aware of the suit and are reviewing the contents.