New York City Woman Sues Resorts World Queens for Not Paying a $43.2 Million Jackpot

Katrina Bookman hit a $43.2 million jackpot at Resorts World New York City in August 2016. When she tried to collected the cash the next day, casino staff told her that the slot machine had malfunctioned and she had not won the jackpot after all. Instead, Resorts World offered the woman a free steak dinner.

Now, Katrina Bookman is suing the casino. New York attorney Alan Ripka is her attorney. The pair are not asking for the full $43.2 million prize. Instead, they are asking for the casino to pay out the biggest fixed jackpot on the Sphinx slot machine, which is $6,500. They believe it is the least a casino should do when a glitch of that magnitude happens.

“The House Doesn’t Pay Out”

Ripka told Raw Story, “They win and the house doesn’t want to pay out. To me that’s unfair. The machine takes your money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win.”

New York State Gaming Commission does not see if the way Katrina Bookman’s lawyer sees it. Instead, the commission says the casino should pay out the amount of the winning spin, which is $2.25. To the Gaming Commission, the casino’s offer of a steak dinner is magnanimous.

Resorts World New York City

Resorts World New York City has had a variety of incidents since it first opened in 2011. The casino was planned by the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation. That financial entity collapsed in 2010, leaving the project in limbo.

Genting stepped in to complete the development. Using its considerable funds, Genting Limited has turned Resorts World NYC into a first-rate racino, but even Genting has had its unexpected troubles. In April 2015, a massive brawl began at the grand opening of a casino bar named Fat Tuesday.

$400 Million Expansion

The casino is attempting to change the equation, though. It announced to the New York Franchise Oversight Board in June 2016 that it is planning a $400 million expansion.

When complete, an additional 750,000 square feet is going to be added to the complex. Casino president Ryan Eller says the new look Resorts World Casino is going to have 5,800 more gaming machines of the variety Katrina Bookman played.

The expansion may be a natural evolution for a Genting-owned property, but it also might be a way to compete better with the casinos still under construction in Upstate New York. The state approved licensing for three new casinos, as well as an expansion of Tioga Downs into a racino, in December 2014. Those casinos are expected to open in 2017 and 2018, providing competition with Resorts World New York City. Genting is majority owner of one of those casinos, so the Malaysian gaming company might be less concerned than it otherwise might have been.

Resorts World NYC and Genting Group received good news in the run-up to the election on November 8. A North Jersey casino initiative set for the November 8 ballot in New Jersey appears well on its way to defeat. A Fairleigh Dickensen University PublicMind Poll showed that the measure is 70% against and 30% for.

If that is the case, then Resorts World is not going to have to deal with competition across the Hudson River in Newark, Jersey City, or the Meadowlands. A similar referendum cannot appear on a New Jersey ballot until 2018 at the earlier, so any construction would not open until the early 2020’s, at the earliest.

Resorts World New York City Information

Resorts World New York City is located on the grounds of Aqueduct Racetrack complex in Ozone Park, Queens. The casino is near JFK Airport and is considered to be a airport-casino. It has electronic gaming machines for table games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and craps. The casino also has video slot machines or video lottery terminals (VLTs), and is the only legal casino gambling in the New York City metropolitan area, besides Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway.

The casino is owned by Genting Limited Group, a multinational conglomerate based out of Malaysia. Genting has been named one of Asia top ten corporations on several occasions, because it also owns banana plantations and oil platforms in Southeast Asia. Genting is currently building Resorts World Las Vegas, the most expensive casino ever built in Las Vegas. When completed, the $4.2 billion Resorts World Las Vegas is expected to be a landmark.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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