Naturally there are merits for playing in land-based casinos as opposed to restricting your slot and table game play to online casinos. Most definitely brick and mortar casinos are deemed to be more sociable, a place to meet friends where you can be served food and drinks while playing.
But you may prefer privacy, enjoy playing whilst relaxed in your ‘jim-jams’ with the ability to eat and drink exactly what you want (I’m a fan of Crepes with Nutella spread on them and a few slices of mint and choc-chip ice cream on the side). I’m not going to be served that in my local slot arcade or casinos.
Whichever your preference there are some major factors which all players should consider: Integrity, machine breakdown, refusal to pay. Yes refusal to pay and it happens at live casinos far more often that you would ever believe.
$100,000 On The Finger
One of the most bizarre stories of the year saw a Florida slot-machine player both win and lose $100,000. The story involves Jan Flato who undisputedly put the cash into the slot he was ‘playing’ and also had his ‘loyalty card’ inserted in the slot at the time that it dropped its $100,000 jackpot.
But when casino officials checked security cameras they declared Flato was not entitled to the $100,000 prize and it should be paid to his companion, Maria Navarro, who, on Flato’s request, actually pressed the ‘spin’ button. “The person who pushes a slot machine button or pulls the arm is the person who wins the jackpot,” a casino spokesman later declared.
Some ugly exchanges have since happened between the pair since but, to date, the none of the $100,000 winnings have been given to 66-year-old (who paid for the spin let us not forget and apparently asked his companion to “press the spin button for luck”). He has no legal recourse to recover the ‘winnings’ from his once close friend.
Show Me The Money
Far more speculative, and for considerably more money this time, a noteworthy case has recently entered the legal system. The story is of the 1c (yes, a U.S. penny) slot player who received an on-screen notification that she had won $42.9 million.
The player in question was quickly informed that her machine had malfunctioned and offered her a $2.25 payout (her slot balance at the time) and a complimentary steak dinner.
She refused the generosity of the New York Casino she was playing in and, despite the slot she was playing having an advertised maximum jackpot of $6,500, she is currently suing the casino owners for $43 million and claims to be suffering from ‘mental anguish’.
In 2015, in a remarkably similar case, a 90-year-old woman was led to believe she had won $41.7 million on another penny machine (in the U.S. State of Iowa) but she was only given a $1.85 prize.
A later attempt to sue the casino failed with the judge who sided with the casino explaining: “The rules of the game formed a contract between the patron and the casino, and the patron was not entitled to the bonus under those rules.”
Slot machines, like any technological device, clearly aren’t immune to malfunctioning on casino floors. And while these breakdowns are still relatively rare, they can and do happen.