Seven patrons of the Ameristar Casino St Charles are seeking to turn their complaints against the casino’s reward programme into a class action lawsuit. If successful, as many as 300,000 casino customers could become part of the demand for US$150 million in actual and punitive damages. The dispute arose when Ameristar apparently changed its video poker rewards programme that earned customers points for food, cash back and card status, requiring the expenditure of more money than had previously been needed to earn one point.
The lawsuit claims that the casino failed to advise patrons of changes to both the points system and food comp rules. Las Vegas-based Ameristar has called the lawsuit frivolous and without merit, and says it has not misled customers. The company bought the St Charles riverboat casino in the St Louis area of Missouri from Station Casinos in 2000. Since then it has enlarged the property and the new US$360 million facility with 7 themed restaurants and additional entertainment venues opened in 2002, becoming the first Missouri casino to have ‘coinless’ gaming.
Last year Ameristar launched its state-of-the-art conference centre at its St Charles location, adding 2 ballrooms, 5 meeting rooms and an executive board room. Construction continues on a 400-room all-suite hotel. The company operates 6 further casinos in the United States. In a statement concerning the lawsuit Ameristar said it has not received a copy but is confident it can respond to the allegations and intends to vigorously defend its position. (E-03.21.07)
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