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Michigan woman: MGM Grand refused to pay out her 7,000 jackpot, claiming she was trespassing

(CBS) – A Michigan woman who has been playing at Detroit’s MGM Grand for more than 20 years says the casino refused to pay out her $127,000 jackpot last year.

Denise Ezell filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Wednesday, saying she has not received the money since she won on October 30, 2023. In addition to the jackpot, she is also seeking $75,000 in damages.

According to the lawsuit, Ezell was playing at the progressive blackjack table when a dealer announced that she had won the jackpot. However, when she went to collect the money, a pit boss told her she couldn’t have it because she was trespassing.

The employee said the issue was related to a 2015 incident when she was accused of panhandling after an argument with another person at the casino. Ezell said the person she argued with was a cousin.

The lawsuit alleges that Ezell was not informed that she had been barred from entering the casino and even continued to gamble there for the past nine years.

Ezell said she spoke to Greg Jones of the casino’s security department, who told her, “Don’t worry about them charging you with trespassing, we’ll get you your jackpot,” the lawsuit says. Jones called Ezell back and said the matter had been “escalated because it was outside of his pay grade.”

“(Ezell’s) reliance on the promises of (MGM) employees was foreseeable and substantial. (MGM’s) subsequent failure to fulfill the promise caused (Ezell) harm and injury,” the lawsuit states. “(MGM’s) subsequent failure to fulfill the promise caused (Ezell) harm and injury.”

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