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Woman Says Casino Won’t Pay $1.2 Million Slot Jackpot

Lawsuit Alleges Evidence May Have Been Tampered With


Sometimes a jackpot isn’t actually a jackpot. That’s what one Atlantic City casino is arguing after a guest believed she’d won a seven-figure payout but was told the slot registering the jackpot had undergone a “technical glitch.”

Roney Beal, of Shamong Township in south New Jersey, says she visited Bally’s in February and a $1.2 million jackpot showed up on the Wheel of Fortune machine she was playing. Her excitement was short-lived, however, when casino staff told her the machine had “reel tilted,” causing an error in the gameplay.

“That’s when the sentences came up ‘tilted,’” she told WPVI. "When the man came over to talk to me he said, ‘Lady, get it in your head, you won nothing.’”

Major Dispute

After informing her of the malfunction, Beal says staff opened the machine and began working with the slot before anything else could be done, ultimately offering her $350. Her attorney believes this could be seen as tampering with evidence that might have proven that the win was legitimate.

“They fooled with the machine before anybody else had the opportunity to take a look at this,” her attorney Mike Dicroce told WPVI.

Dicroce has now asked New Jersey Gaming Enforcement to quarantine the machine and also preserve any video of the area for further review.

In similar cases in the past, casinos and manufacturers have argued that reel tilt can cause the reels to get out of line with the computer’s inner workings, registering what may appear to be a certain payout on the reels while not actually having the result on the computer.

A similar lawsuit came in 2000 after a visitor at Harrah’s in New Orleans had a $1.3 million jackpot taken away. A jury ultimately ruled in the slot player’s favor and that IGT must pay out the jackpot.

Regulators and courts haven’t always agreed with the players in these cases, however. In 2016, Katrina Bookman of Queens, New York, appeared to have hit a jackpot of $42 million at Resorts World Casino in New York City. This would have been a new jackpot record, but casino officials informed her the payout was the result of a malfunction.

The New York State Gaming Commission responded, noting that the machine had only had a maximum payout of $6,500. The commission also ruled she should have only won $2.25.