The man claiming to have won $20M from the Princess Hotel Casino recently filed a revised law suit against the entity after it was disclosed that the initial document was filed under the incorrect name.
Local contractor, Somar Shako, of 283 Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo is suing Princess Casino (Guyana) after the company refused to pay him the $20M which he alleges he won on a slot machine on July 7, last.
Shako, through his attorneys, had served the writ on the company, Georgetown Investment and Management Service Inc., trading and operating under the registered name of Princess Casino Guyana.
But the company’s lawyer, Sase Gunraj, had informed the court at a previous hearing that the law suit was incorrectly addressed. He said that that was not the name of the company. ‘
As such, Shako’s lawyers, Maxwell McKay, Nalenee Doobay-Dhanraj and Lawrence Harris, re-filed a law suit listing Georgetown Investment and Management Service Inc., trading and operating under the registered name of Princess Hotel Guyana and Princess Guyana Inc., trading under the name and style of Princess Casino Guyana, as the defendants.
In a statement of claim to support the writ, Shako said that he began gambling at the casino two years ago, when he was issued a club membership that allowed him to access the facility without an identity check or having to produce any documents.
On Caricom Day, July 7, last, Shako said he entered into an implied contractual agreement by custom with the casino, to be paid all winnings, when he entered into the facility at Providence, East Bank Demerara, to gamble.
According to the Court document, around 20:00 hours that day he began playing on slot machine # 340, and after playing over 40 games on the said machine, it visually announced the Jackpot winnings of G$20,000,306.
After the visual announcement, the document continues, Shako was immediately approached by the Supervisor of the Slot Machine Attendant, with a name tag identifying him as one ‘Delon’, who requested Shako’s name in order to make payments. This process was however interrupted by one of the Casino’s Managers, who asked Shako to remove from the machine.
According to Shako, the Manager then opened a part of the slot machine and deleted the winning message, in the presence of several persons who had surrounded the machine to congratulate Shako on his winnings.
Most of the persons who had gathered then demanded that the casino pay Shako his winnings.
But instead, Shako was informed by the Casino Manager that slot machine # 340 was malfunctioning and that as a result, the casino could not make any payments to him. The Manager then told Shako that he had fixed the machine and advised that he could resume playing.
But the man is contending that at no time while he was gambling on the slot machine, was he informed that the said machine was not functioning nor was any notice to that effect posted within sight.
Additionally, at no time did slot machine # 340 demonstrate any malfunctioning attributes whilst it was accepting Shako’s money to gamble.
“In breach of the implied contractual agreement between the Defendant and the Plaintiff, the Defendant has since refused and or neglected to pay the Plaintiff his jackpot winnings won on 7th July 2014, in the sum of GYD$20,000,306 (twenty million, three hundred and six dollars),” Shako’s Statement of Claim said.
The matter took another twist on July 22, last, when the Casino, after learning that Shako had retained lawyers, offered to pay him $1M, which Shako refused. He said two days later an official from the casino called him and upped the offer to $4M, which he again refused.
Shako claimed that he faced constant intimidation by way of over 40 telephone calls between July 22 and 25 from casino officials who were insisting that he accept the offer. He said that as a result of the harassing phone calls, he has lost income that would have amounted to the sum of $2M.
It is in this light that Shako is asking the court to order that he be paid his $20M winnings.
He is also seeking damages in the sum of two million Guyana dollars for loss of income; damages in the sum of three million Guyana dollars for breach of contract; interest on the $20M pursuant to the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provision) Act Chapter 6:02 and such further Order and or relief, which to the Court seems just.
The matter is to be called on Wednesday, November 26.
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