Jacqueline Davis couldn’t believe her good fortune when she managed to win $3.3 million through online gambling.
The Detroit native was gambling online at BetMGM at the time of the windfall. She managed to do what many gamblers dream of—win millions of dollars.
Davis thought her life had changed following this amazing gambling session. She got a rude awakening, though, when BetMGM (owned by MGM Resorts) refused to pay out $3.18 million of the winnings.
Now, Davis is in a fight to get the rest of the money. Below, you can read more about her efforts to recoup the winnings along with why BetMGM refuses to pay up.
How Jacqueline Davis Won $3.3 Million
Jacqueline Davis started her online gambling session unassumingly enough. She made a small $50 deposit and began playing Luck o’ the Roulette.
Her first bet on this online slot was worth $4.50. However, Davis would soon up the ante as she started winning over and over.
Fueled by her winning, Davis played Luck o’ the Roulette nonstop. She spent every free moment she had for the next five days playing the game.
Her run is similar to that experienced by famed gambler Archie Karas in Las Vegas casinos. Karas gambled the last $50 in his pocket up to $40 million.
Unlike Davis, though, Karas didn’t quit playing when he was ahead. He eventually blew the entire $40 million in winnings. With that said, Davis made a smart decision by quitting when she did.
Following her amazing online gambling streak, Davis decided to withdraw $100,000. BetMGM promptly honored this cashout request.
BetMGM Refuses to Pay the Remaining $3.18m Over a Glitch
While BetMGM originally paid $100k, they refuse to pay out any additional winnings. Davis currently has $3.1 million sitting in her frozen account.
BetMGM claims that all of her winnings are due to a glitch that happened on Luck o’ the Roulette. It doesn’t believe that they’re required to pay anything else.
Like in many jurisdictions, Michigan gaming laws don’t require operators to honor winnings stemming from a malfunction. That said, this gaming site is sticking by its decision not to pay the remaining amount.
Declined Settlements From BetMGM
After failing to receive millions of dollars in winnings, Jacqueline Davis has since hired an attorney. David Steingold is representing her and has filed a lawsuit on Davis’ behalf. BetMGM has since countered with a couple of offers.
The first settlement proposed that Davis could keep the $100,000 in winnings. In exchange, she would sign a confidentiality agreement. Davis promptly rejected this first offer.
Again, Davis would’ve had to sign a confidentiality agreement. And again, she rejected this proposal too. Having turned down both of BetMGM’s settlement offers, Davis now seeks the remaining $3.18 million in court.
The Legal System Usually Sides With the Casinos
Jacqueline Davis seemingly has a good argument. She did win $3.3 million through Luck o’ the Roulette. BetMGM, on the other hand, refuses to pay anything beyond the initial $100k cashout.
But while Davis’s case looks good on paper, legal precedents don’t look favorable. Below, you can see what’s happened with similar cases in the past. These lawsuits aren’t exactly like Davis’ story, but they do involve glitches.
Katrina Bookman Denied $42.9 Million Jackpot
In 2016, Katrina Bookman was playing IGT’s Sphinx Wild slot when she won a record-breaking jackpot. Bookman saw a $42.95 million win flash across the screen while gambling at Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York.
Rather than congratulating her on the big win, Resorts World officials informed Bookman that the machine experienced a malfunction. She really only won $2.25 on the spin.
The casino offered her a free steak dinner to soften the blow. However, Bookman wasn’t satisfied with this offer and immediately filed a lawsuit.
She didn’t get anywhere with the litigation, though. To date, Bookman has yet to receive any kind of settlement from Resorts World.
Veronica Castillo Misses Out on $8.6 Million
In 2015, Oregon native Veronica Castillo visited the Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington. She began playing the slot machine Jurassic Riches and would eventually net a jackpot worth almost $8.6 million.
Lucky Eagle officials checked out the game and said that the jackpot was due to a malfunction. They noted that Jurassic Riches only pays up to $20,000. The casino offered her $80, which didn’t even cover her original $100 deposit.
Not surprisingly, Castillo sued after the insulting offer. Like Bookman, though, her case never went anywhere.
Pauline McKee Denied $41.9 Million Jackpot
In 2011, Pauline McKee visited the Isle Casino Hotel in Bettendorf, Iowa. An 87-year-old grandmother at the time, McKee began playing Miss Kitty slot.
After being offered just $1.85, McKee and her family took the case all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court. She would lose the lawsuit, though, with the judge noting that casinos don’t have to pay on malfunctions.
Behar Merlaku Received $1.5 Million Settlement
Behar Merlaku, a Swiss man, visited Austria’s Casino Bregenz in 2011. He proceeded to win a $57 million jackpot, which would easily be a world record today.
However, Merlaku was the victim of another machine malfunction. In this case, he was able to successfully argue that the glitch caused his family lots of stress. He told the courtroom that his wife was so stressed that his son was born with a cleft palate.
Casino Bregenz initially offered a settlement worth $750,000. They upped the offer to $1.5 million after the first one was rejected.
Merlaku accepted this deal, thus putting the case to a close. He used a portion of the money to pay for his son’s cleft palate surgery.
Davis’ $100k Could Be at Risk
The $100,000 cashout was at the heart of the two BetMGM settlements. In both cases, the online casino proposed that she could keep the $100k for signing papers. By pushing for a lawsuit, though, Davis could be putting the $100,000 she received in jeopardy.
Most of the big casino gambling lawsuits covered above saw the casino triumph. The players, meanwhile, walked away empty-handed.
In the case of Behar Merlaku, he received a $1 million settlement for the stress put on his family. He used part of the money to fix his son’s cleft palate.
Assuming BetMGM can prove that Davis’ winnings came through a glitch, they have a strong chance to avoid paying out the $3.18 million.
My guess is that Davis will get to keep the $100,000 she’s already received. It’s not her fault that Luck o’ the Roulette (may have) malfunctioned.
On the other hand, it’s very possible that she won’t receive any of the extra money. Michigan laws protect land-based and online casinos in the event of a game malfunction.
Jacqueline Davis found and exploited a beatable game in Luck o’ the Roulette. She managed to win almost $3.3 million by the time she quit playing.
Davis was able to get $100,000 of the winnings through a withdrawal. However, the remaining $3.18 million is locked on the BetMGM website.
The online casino refuses to pay up on account of what they claim was a glitch. They’ll now take their chances in court against Davis.
The precedent doesn’t look great for the Detroit woman’s case. Then again, BetMGM actually needs to prove that a malfunction did occur.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this case. Assuming the gambling site can’t prove a glitch, then Davis stands a strong chance to get the remaining $3.18m.