Lawsuit Claims Encore Boston Harbor Cheating Patrons via Casino Games

  • Claims that the casino has a statistical advantage over players with lower-than-lawful payouts
  • 6-5 odds payouts offered on blackjack games instead of 3-2 odds required under state laws
  • Plaintiff claims he played at Encore and lost due to odds being in casino's favor
  • Lawsuit adds that slot payouts are also not being awarded correctly
symbols of justice on table
Encore Boston Harbor is facing a lawsuit regarding its blackjack and slot games.

Encore casino cheating allegations

Encore Boston Harbor Casino is accused of cheating patrons in the games of blackjack and slots. The newly opened casino is named in a lawsuit filed by A. Richard Schuster of New York.

The plaintiff claims the casino is using odds tilted in its favor rather than what is required under Massachusetts state law.

Schuster is seeking statutory and actual damages along with triple damages, plus fees and the cost of his attorney. The goal is to stop the casino from engaging in the alleged conduct.

Blackjack odds violate rules

The lawsuit holds that the casino’s 6 to 5 blackjack games offered are violating gaming rules to maximize the facilities’ advantage in excess of what is allowed by law.

In a 6 to 5 blackjack game, the odds are 6-5 instead of the traditional 3-2 odds when a blackjack is hit. With a 3 to 2 payout, a player who wagers $10 (£ 8.06126) would be paid $15 (£12.0915). But in a 6 to 5 payout game, a $10 (£ 8.06126) bet is only worth $12 (£ 9.67351) with a blackjack. The player earns less with the 6 to 5 payout option.

In Massachusetts, the state allows the 6 to 5 payout blackjack games at casinos, but only if certain conditions are met. Schuster has accused the Encore Boston Harbor of breaking regulation conditions because it combines the 6 to 5 rules with traditional blackjack rules that favor the casino.

The lawsuit also states that lower-payout games require one or two decks. Traditionally, the games would have six to eight decks. Allegedly, Encore does not use single- or two-deck shoes at some of its blackjack tables.

According to Schuster’s lawsuit, with the blackjack odds being shifted, the casino could be taking as much as $85,000 (£68,518.78) each day from consumers.

The plaintiff’s attorney Joshua Garick feels the casino set such payouts to intentionally make more money off its players.

Slot game issues

Schuster also maintains that Encore is not refunding the proper amounts to slot players. The machines used for ticket redemption of slot wins are paying out whole dollar amounts without change. Allegedly, the machines do not provide instruction on how to obtain the balance.

The casino is being accused of keeping the unredeemed change, profiting from this action.  

Encore Response

The accusations have been denied by Encore Boston Harbor. They claim the casino is following state regulations for blackjack payouts and for the redemption of slot machine tickets. According to a spokeswoman for the casino, the operational procedures of the casino have been approved by the commission.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is aware of the lawsuit and has started to review the content of the filing.