Michigan woman claims MGM Grand refused to pay her $127,000 jackpot, claims she was trespassing

(CBS DETROIT) – A Michigan woman who has been gambling at Detroit’s MGM Grand for more than 20 years says the casino refused to pay her $127,000 jackpot last year.

Denise Ezell filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, claiming she still hasn’t received the money since her Oct. 30, 2023, victory. She’s seeking $127,000 and $75,000 in damages.

According to the suit, Ezell was playing progressive blackjack when a dealer told her she had won the jackpot. However, when she went to get the money, a table manager told her she couldn’t get it because she had entered without permission.

The employee said the issue was related to an incident in 2015, when she was accused of panhandling following an argument with another person at the casino. Ezell said the person she was arguing with was a cousin.

The lawsuit alleges that Ezell was not informed that she had been banned from the casino and even continued to gamble at the casino for the past nine years.

Ezell said he spoke with Greg Jones of casino security, who told him, “Don’t worry if they say you were in violation, we’re going to get your jackpot back,” according to the lawsuit. Jones called Ezell back and said the matter was “escalated because it was out of line with his salary level.”

“(Ezell’s) reliance on the promises of (MGM’s) employees was foreseeable and substantial. (MGM’s) subsequent breach of promise caused harm and injury to (Ezell),” the lawsuit states. “(MGM’s) subsequent breach of promise caused harm and injury to (Ezell).”

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