Harrah’s Entertainment Facing $8 Million Lawsuit

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Almost 350,000 people received a court order from the state of New Jersey saying they might be eligible to reclaim losses from a Harrah’s Entertainment promotion gone bad.

The lawsuit was originally filed by Debra Smerling who received a $15 Birthday Cash card from Harrah’s; as the name implies, the card was supposed to offer Smerling a $15 gambling voucher. Instead, Smerling left empty-handed and angry after Harrah’s refused to honor the card saying it was no good after midnight. Since Smerling presented the card at 12:30am, Harrah’s Casino employees told her that she would have to wait until 8:00am the next day when Harrah’s reopened.

The cards were issued to Smerling and other Total Rewards members as part of a Harrah’s promotion. However, the case leveled against Harrah’s Entertainment says that they failed to disclose the times when the cards would not be accepted thus causing an inconvenience to the consumer. The charges are pretty serious against Harrah’s since a guilty conviction would mean that Harrah’s violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

If Harrah’s does lose in court, it’s likely that they will have to pay 80,000 of the Total Rewards members $100 each for violating the aforementioned law. Furthermore, any of the 80,000 members who were denied a chance to redeem their $15 Birthday Cash cards have the option to file a separate lawsuit for any damages that occurred as a result.

Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City has already suffered enough through a major loss in revenue over the past few years. Nearby Pennsylvania recently legalized tables games thus drawing even more visitors away from Harrah’s in Atlantic City. Assuming the casino is found guilty of false advertising, another $8 million in lost revenue would be the last thing that Harrah’s Atlantic City wants to deal with.

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