The Star to Pay $320K Jackpot to Gambler with Disability

The Star has lost a case in a Sydney court as the law sided with David Joe, a gambler with disability who asked a friend of his to help him operate gambling machines which led to a jackpot back on October 25, 2019. Since then, the casino had refused to pay out the $285,000 jackpot, triggering a lengthy court battle instead.

Last Friday, though, the saga came to an end as Joe won the case in the District Court and is now entitled to payment of $320,000, which is the original jackpot amount and interest. In his complaint, Joe argued that The Star had refused to pay a jackpot he had won.

Joe, who suffers from motor neuron disease and is a Platinum Vantage VIP member at the casino, was denied the jackpot after the casino established that one Lois Lie, a friend of Joe’s, had helped him play the pokies. The pair used $10 and won the jackpot from the Year of The Tiger slot machine. A court document revealed the opinion of Judge Robert Montgomery who ruled in the case:

In the context of their playing machines for several hours, Mr Joe truly significant disability, plainly deprived him of the ability to operate the machines himself for enjoyment.

Judge Robert Montgomery

Joe argued that he had asked The Star if a friend can help him operating the pokies. The issue only came after the jackpot had been won, Joe told the court. But the problem here had to do with the fact that Lie himself had been excluded from casinos and could not be granted any winnings as a result.

Lie became part of a self-exclusion list back in October 2016. However, Judge Montgomery concluded that it was Joe who had undertaken the financial risk. The Judge acknowledged that it was Lie acting in the stead of Joe, but only under the latter man’s strict instructions. Joe was unaware that Lie had been banned from casinos as well.

However, the court stressed that since Lie could enter, the exclusion order had been lifted since the gambler had no problems with gaining access to the premises. “Accordingly, failure to pay the winnings to Mr Joe was misconceived and breached the contract of wager between the plaintiff and the defendant,” the ruling said. The Star will also have to cover Joe’s legal costs and pay the amount owed in full.

Star Sydney recently won a court case against a gambler who alleged that the property owed him around $660,000.

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