Resorts World Casino falsely accused gambler of attacking slot
Saturday 21st December 2019
Hundreds of angry gamblers at Resorts World Casino in Queens have been busting slot machines in fits of frustration -- but a regular claims he was falsely accused by security of attacking a one-armed bandit.
Almost 500 people have been arrested for criminal mischief, many for breaking slot machines, since the gambling mecca opened in 2011. But Bronx resident Pren Mrijaj says the casino has gotten into the habit of accusing people of breaking the machines, and then detaining them until they pay up -- "larceny by extortion."
"At least 150 people have been improperly detained by Casino personnel," Mrijaj alleges in his Bronx Supreme Court lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status.
Bitter bettors bashing slot machines is not unheard of -- but seems to be more of an East Coast phenomenon, casino security expert Alan Zajic told The Post, noting the display or "belly" glass on the machines can be vulnerable.
"If a person gets mad, they hit it with their bag or punch it with their fists and break it," he said.
"I will tell you it tends to happen more often in markets on the Eastern seaboard," he said, as opposed to Las Vegas.
The Queens District Attorney's office confirmed 493 arrests for criminal mischief at Resorts World since its 2011 opening.
Mrijaj was a high roller at the Ozone Park casino when security guards interrupted his game of roulette one night in 2018 and dragged him to the basement, he said in court papers.
Guards held him in the room for hours, accusing him of breaking a slot machine but refusing to show video evidence, said Mrijaj, who denied damaging anything.
Police were called and Mrijaj arrested, but the case was eventually dismissed. Mrijaj returned to Resorts World more than a year later and even called to make sure he was OK to return.
He took another spin at the slots, and won. But as he was ready to cash in a $5,000 voucher, Mrijaj claims he landed in the same basement room and was asked to pay more than $1,600 for the broken slot machine from the year before, court papers say.
He finally ponied up the cash after more than an hour.
Resorts World, which has more than 6,000 slot machines for its 10 million annual visitors, declined comment on the litigation, but said broken slot machines do happen, noting, "the heavy foot traffic and exciting atmosphere can cause some wear and tear on the machines."