Can I financially benefit from a mistake if I was given too much money by a casino?

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Can I financially benefit from a mistake if I was given too much money by a casino?

I went to a casino and played machines which use vouchers. Upon leaving, I redeemed my voucher for $60 and the self-redemption kiosk malfunctioned and gave me $984. I walked out of the casino thinking it gave me a $1.00 and for privacy did not count. Upon returning home I notice the mistake but did not contact the casino. However, a week later, the casino called and told me that it wanted it’s money back. Am I obligated to return the money or is the casino at fault and I can benefit from this mistake?

Asked on January 8, 2015 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You owe the casino its money back. As a matter of equity, one cannot benefit by an honest mistake. That would constitute "unjust  enrichment". This is similar to a sitiution in which an ATM gave you too much money. Accordingly, if you do not repay the money, the casino can take legal action against you.


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