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Michigan woman says MGM Grand refused to pay out her $127K jackpot, claimed she was trespassing

By DeJanay Booth-Singleton

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

Denise Ezell filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, saying she still has not received the money since winning on Oct. 30, 2023. In addition to the jackpot, she is also seeking $75,000 in damages.

According to the lawsuit, Ezell was playing at the progressive blackjack table when a dealer announced that she won the jackpot. However, when she went to obtain the money, a pit boss told her that she could not get it because she was trespassing.

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 Ezell was not informed that she was banned from the casino and even continued to gamble there over the last nine years.

Ezell says she spoke with Greg Jones from the casino’s security department, who told her “Don’t worry about them saying you were trespassing, we are going to get you your jackpot,” according to the lawsuit. Jones called Ezell back and said the matter had been “escalated up because it was out of his pay grade.”

“(Ezell’s) reliance on (MGM’s) employees’ promises was foreseeable and substantial. (MGM’s) subsequent failure to fulfill the promise has caused harm and injuries to (Ezell),” read the lawsuit. “(MGM’s) subsequent failure to fulfill the promise has caused harm and injuries to (Ezell).”

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