Poker Coverage: Poker Legislation Poker Tournaments Poker Stories Podcast U.S. Poker Markets

Irish Judge Says Casinos Don't Have Legal Obligation To Pay Gamblers Their Winnings: Report

Casinos Are Protected Under Law When Withholding Payouts


D1 Casino In DublinAccording to The Irish Times, a bizarre case involving an allegedly faulty roulette machine has a local judge saying that casinos are under no legal obligation to pay out winners.

Judge Francis Comerford of the Circuit Civil Court dismissed a gambler’s suit that sought to recover €11,713 worth of roulette winnings from a gambling session in 2015. The casino operator, automatic Amusements Ltd, reportedly was suspicious of the machine’s payouts.

A man by the name of Sayed Mirwais said that the D1 Casino in Dublin asked him to continue gambling when he tried to cash out €7,500, as the casino allegedly only gave him €2,500 in cash and provided the rest in casino chips. The casino allegedly told him that he would be paid out later that evening. It’s not clear why Mirwais went along with that request.

Mirwais went on to win more money on the machine, which then prompted the casino to ask him to stop playing for the night, the report said.

“When he went to the cashier counter he was told the casino had no more cash for the night but that he would be paid the following day,” said The Irish Times. “He had also been told that an engineer would later check the roulette machine.”

The 36-year-old Mirwais claimed that he was the victim of “unfair commercial practice.”

In the defense against the gambler’s claims, the casino’s lawyer reportedly said that the roulette machine Mirwais had played was bleeding money. He said there was a “suspiciously high amount of money lost by the roulette machine.” Mirwais denied having found a glitch in the machine to exploit.

“The casino alleged that Mr. Mirwais changed the screen layout from single to double play mode in order to switch a bet which had been placed in a previous game, enabling him to place a bet when the roulette ball had already settled,” said the report.

The casino claimed that it had been unaware of the alleged glitch until it was too late.

Mirwais lost €9,000 at the casino the night before the controversial session.

“When I was losing my money, the machine was OK and the casino was happy to take it, but when I won, they wanted to investigate,” he told the court.

In dismissing his claims, the judge cited a 1956 Irish law that basically says there’s no legal recourse for recovering contested gambling winnings.

“If you happen to be too lucky while placing a bet or gambling, the person can simply say ‘no you’re not entitled to the money.’ That is simply the law in Ireland,” the judge said.

That’s not the case in the U.S. state of Nevada, home to the world-renowned gambling hub Las Vegas. In that jurisdiction, gamblers are able to win payout disputes. That was recently the result of a complaint against a Las Vegas poker room that invalidated a bad beat poker jackpot.