Sydney’s Star Casino Ordered to Pay Disabled Gambler AU$285,000 Jackpot

  • A man with motor neuron disease bankrolled a jackpot win in 2019
  • The Star argued Joe’s able-bodied friend’s ban ruled him out of the jackpot
  • The judge ruled the economic risk was Joe’s and the jackpot was rightfully his
  • The Star recently won an AU$950,000 ($644,437) case against a gambler
The Star Sydney
A judge has ordered The Star in Sydney to pay a disabled gambler for a disputed 2019 jackpot. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Friend hits jackpot

The New South Wales (NSW) District Court has ordered The Star casino in Sydney to pay a disabled gambler his AU$285,000 (US$195,910) dues after a friend cranked out the jackpot win on his behalf.

Friday’s ruling also stipulates that The Star must pay David Joe an additional AU$35,000 (US$24,059) interest, plus his legal fees.

asked his friend Lois Lie to help operate The Star’s gambling machines

The contentious jackpot win came on October 25, 2019. Joe, who has motor neuron disease, asked his friend Lois Lie to help operate The Star’s gambling machines, known as pokies in Australia.

Under Joe’s direction, Lie hit the big jackpot. The Star, however, wouldn’t pay out the AU$285,000 (US$195,910), citing a voluntary casino exclusion order on Lie that did not entitle him to any winnings. According to The Advocate, Joe didn’t know The Star had banned his friend, while Lie allegedly assumed the order had lapsed after the casino stopped barring him from entry.

Follow the money

Judge Robert Montgomery found that while the able-bodied man worked the gaming machine, it was his disabled friend who shouldered the economic risk by using his VIP membership card to bankroll the game.

“The whole of the economic stake wagered during the operation of gaming machines by Mr Lie, whilst [Joe’s] card was inserted and he watched and gave Mr Lie directions, was [Joe’s] money,” Judge Montgomery said.

deprived him of the ability to operate the machines himself for enjoyment.”

The judge also noted the context of the jackpot win, highlighting that the pair had been playing the machines “for several hours.” Montgomery said Joe’s “truly significant disability, plainly deprived him of the ability to operate the machines himself for enjoyment.”

Ultimately, the judge ruled that The Star could no longer withhold the cash from Joe.

Lose one, win one

Only last month, The Star Sydney avoided a banned gambler’s attempt to win back the AU$950,000 ($644,437) she had lost in a session.

On July 25, Associate Justice Joanne Harrison tossed beauty therapist Kim Nguyen’s lawsuit against The Star out of court, plus Nguyen also had to pay the casino’s legal fees.