Magic City Casino in Miami is the subject of an odd and perhaps petty lawsuit filed by one of its patrons. Nicolas Manzini of Florida filed the lawsuit in 11th Circuit Court against West Flagler Associates, Magic City’s owner, saying the company is essentially stealing money from customers by “manipulating the cash-out system” and not paying exact change on slot machine cashouts.
Now, that sounds bad, but it is not exactly as the 71-year-old Manzini makes it sound. The pandemic created a coin shortage around the country, which naturally had an impact on casinos. Many have been moving to cashless gaming as a solution. In his lawsuit, Manzini says that other casinos “adopted reasonable practices” to let customers know that they might have trouble issuing exact change, but Magic City has not.
The days of slot machines dumping buckets of coins on a win are long gone. Now, when you want to cash out of a machine at most casinos, it prints a voucher that you can take to a kiosk to receive your money. At Magic City, because of the coin shortage, the kiosks only pay out the dollar amount in paper bills and then issue a separate voucher for the change. That voucher must be taken to the cashier to redeem. It expires in 30 days.
Manzini claims that the voucher for the change says nothing about an expiration date and rather than posting “conspicuous” notices throughout the casino to explain the policy, Magic City only has small signs near some of the kiosks. He also says that most customers of the casino don’t speak English, yet the signs are only printed in English.
Claiming that Magic City is running afoul of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Manzini said in his lawsuit, “For the last few years, the casino has been keeping the change off of hundreds of thousands of gaming vouchers, essentially robbing its customers a few cents at a time, on millions of transactions.”
Manzini wants the case to go to trial and is requesting refunds for all customers who never received their change, compensatory damages, and for the casino to fix the voucher system.
All of this over change amounting to less than a dollar per voucher. Manzini said he went to the casino three times from October 20-23 in order to test the voucher system. On two of those occasions, he redeemed the change voucher at the cashier for 62 cents and 83 cents.
Magic City Casino may become a Wind Creek Casino soon, as the Poarch Creek Band of Indians, owner of Wind Creek Hospitality, has agreed to buy Magic City, plus the casino’s gambling permit, from West Flagler Associates. According to the Miami Herald, the Florida Gaming Control Commission will likely approve the deal.