By Beth Germano


EVERETT (CBS) – The president of Encore Boston Harbor fired back at a lawsuit against the casino before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Thursday, which claims that customers are being short-changed. “Every single customer gets every dollar and every penny they have coming due to them,” said Bob DeSalvio.

In a lawsuit filed this week, a gambler claims the casino is tilting the payout odds in a version of a blackjack game, getting odds at 6-5 instead of 3-2, meaning he gets less money. At a meeting of the commission Thursday photos were posted claiming the tables are clearly marked about the odds being paid, but the attorney who filed the suit is not so convinced and intends to move forward.

“We intend to raise issues before a judge rather than in a commission where inspectors and representatives from the casino are sitting at the same table,” said attorney Joshua Garick.

The commission’s Investigation and Enforcement Bureau reviewed the claims and has determined “preliminarily” that Encore is in compliance with state regulations. But chairwoman Cathy Judd-Stein says the casino will still be monitored. “We want to make sure we review matters fairly, objectively and transparently,” said Judd-Stein.

The suit also claims slot winners aren’t getting their full payout because ticket redemption machines only dispense dollars and not coins which customers are told have to be redeemed with a cashier.

It’s something players like Tina Guckert aren’t happy about. “I won sixty $63.25. I got the $63.25 in a coupon. After awhile it adds up,” said Guckert.

Encore’s president says it’s difficult to keep redemption machines filled with coins when the casino is at “full volume” but will consider options to make coin redemption more convenient.

Some customers are pleased that everything is being monitored with gaming at Encore well underway. “I would think the Gaming Commission would be checking anyway. It went through hoops and bounds to open it,” said Linda McLaughlin.

Beth Germano

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