|04-01-2010, 10:02 AM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mile High
I would own part of that casino!
Casino calls Thornton woman's $42M jackpot a mistake
By Andy Vuong
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/31/2010 05:37:20 PM MDT
Updated: 03/31/2010 11:36:00 PM MDT
An apparent $42.9 million slot-machine jackpot at a Central City casino may pay out little more than a night's hotel stay and breakfast.
Thornton resident Louise Chavez thought she had hit it big on a penny slot at Fortune Valley Hotel & Casino on Friday night, only to be told that the whopping jackpot displayed on her machine was an error. Casino and regulatory officials say the machine malfunctioned and that the top progressive payout displayed on the game was $251,000.
Chavez, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, told television station KDVR-Channel 31 that Fortune Valley gave her a room at the hotel, breakfast and $23 — the amount of money she said she put into the game.
Clearly not satisfied, Chavez is making the rounds on television this week, claiming she was cheated.
"Whatever that machine said, I should get it," she said.
Similar slot-machine malfunctions have led to lawsuits as gamblers try to claim their supposed winnings.
"The suits tend to not be very successful because the machines have warnings on them that say malfunctions void play," said gambling-law expert I. Nelson Rose.
There have been instances, however, where casinos settle out of court, coughing up some money to stop the bad press. Rose said that could happen in this case if the negative publicity continues.
"If it looks like they're going to lose the case, either in the court or the court of public opinion, then a casino will settle," Rose said.
In 1998, gambling giant Harrah's agreed to pay a $330,192 jackpot on a machine at an Arizona casino that malfunctioned, Rose said.
In 2008, a slot machine in Colorado told a gambler that she had won $164 million when the correct prize was $6.60, said Colorado Division of Gaming spokesman Don Burmania. A lawsuit filed by the gambler was settled out of court.
But getting anything from Fortune Valley could be difficult because its parent company, Centaur, is bankrupt and has put the casino up for sale.
Fortune Valley said in a prepared statement that it has turned the matter over to regulators, who say a glitch in the slot machine's software caused the error. The investigation is expected to take one to two months to complete, Burmania said.
"The forensic investigation, in part, is being conducted to determine how much she would have won had the machine not malfunctioned," Burmania said. He said neither the casino nor the manufacturer of the slot machine, WMS Gaming, faces sanctions for the error.
Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_14...#ixzz0jrhRRzP5