>> $55 mil winnings must be paid to gambler: lawyer
>> Vietnam casino refuses to pay $55 million prize
The defendant in the case is Dai Duong Joint Venture Company, which owns the Palazzo Club at the five-star Sheraton Saigon Hotel.
After he won the money while playing a game called the Landlord on October 25, 2009, Sam asked the club for a written confirmation of his winning. The club manager refused, but said Dai Duong would pay Sam within three days.
Sam made his own report and asked other players at the club to sign as witnesses. He also took some photos of the machine that reported the wining result.
The exact winning amount showed on the screen of game machine No. 13 was US$55,542,291.70.
But the money was not forthcoming, and despite two requests from Sam, Dai Duong did not pay.
Eventually, Ewarton Consultancy, an affiliate of Dai Duong, told him that due to “some fault” with the game machine, the result was “invalid.”
Dai Duong also replied in writing to Sam that it was impossible for a prize to be as high as the amount shown. The company also said that due to technical faults, the winning amount was displayed in the wrong place on the screen of the game machine.
Sam disagreed with Duong’s explanation and filed a complaint to the District 1 People’s Court in HCMC.
Commenting on the lawsuit, lawyer Truong Thi Hoa, from the HCMC Bar Association, said that if Dai Duong claims that the machine was faulty when Sam put the coin into the machine to start his game, then it would have to provide evidence for its claim.
As for the plaintiff, he must also show evidence proving that he had actually won the amount.
In case a game machine reports an award to the gambler, the gambler is eligible to get the award and is not required to know of any faults in the machine that leads to the result if the machine’s operator has not informed the gambler of such a fault before the gambler starts his game, said lawyer Truong Xuan Tam, from the National Lawyers Council.
He also said such machine fault must be verified and confirmed by concerned agencies.
He added that the award rates set up in machine games must be registered with the finance departments in localities where game operators are licensed.
Under Vietnam laws, only foreigners or overseas Vietnamese are allowed to gamble at casinos.