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It sounded too good to be true — and it was.
Two New Jersey gamblers yesterday sued the recently-revamped Revel casino for more than $35 million, claiming it “lured” patrons to its Atlantic City slot machines in July with a bogus promise to refund all losses.
The $2.6 billion Revel resort and casino “never intended to refund any slot losses,” but used its highly-publicized “Gamblers Wanted” campaign as a ruse to help bolster its bottom line after emerging from an embarrassing bankruptcy, according to the Manhattan federal court class-action lawsuit filed by Garden State gamblers Megan Boyd and Rakeen Henderson.
The suit, on behalf of “tens of thousands” of slot players in five states and Washington DC, accuses Revel Entertainment Group of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violating state consumer-protection laws.
Revel’s enticing print, TV and radio promos crowed, “All July long, we’re going to refund all slot losses” and “You really can’t lose . . . if you win, you win. If you lose, we’ll give it all back!”
The suit alleges the claims were misleading and that Revel “relied on deceptively hidden rules to avoid paying any refunds at all,” arguing caveats to the promotion appeared only in “virtually illegible fine print” on the casino’s Web site and flashed for “one second” on TV ads.
The fine print noted that losses would be reimbursed in free slot play over a 20-week period, in 5-percent increments each week. If a patron missed a week, that week’s reimbursement was forfeited.
“This deceptive business scheme . . . result[ed] in the first-ever profitable period since [Revel’s] opening 18 months ago,” according to the the court papers. It emerged from bankruptcy in May with a new marketing strategy aimed at a more traditional Atlantic City crowd.
Revel opened in 2012 and touted itself as more as a high-brow resort rather than a casino. Its upscale attitude, expensive food and drinks and a no-smoking policy didn’t fly with the Atlantic City gambling crowd and Revel was in bankruptcy by March 2013.
By JEANE MACINTOSH
Last Updated: 6:33 AM, August 24, 2013
Posted: 1:59 AM, August 24, 2013
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