Disputed jackpots and other discrepancies

Disputed jackpots and other discrepancies

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Mighty strange things happen in the world of casino gambling. Many involve disputes over slot machine payouts, but other crazy stuff also happens,

The Nevada Gaming Control Board arbitrates around 1,000 slot and table game disputes between gamblers and casinos every year. Nearly 90 percent of the disputes are decided in favor of the casinos. A vast majority of the disputes revolve around game malfunctions, misunderstood award listings, and video poker machines with defective hold buttons.

For instance a number of years ago there was the case of the guy who was playing a Millionaire 7's slot machine at the Texas Station Hotel & Casino in North Las Vegas. He had lost around $200 in the 2-coin dollar machine and was down to his last few credits when every slot player's dream came true for him.

Bragg lined up the jackpot 7's across the pay line. The bells and whistles started and the celebration began for a whopping $1,192,000 pay day. After an unusually long wait (45 minutes) two Nevada control board agents and two casino managers approached. They told him they would have to check the machine and conduct an investigation. They would render a decision about his claimed jackpot within 30 days.

When the review was complete, the man received a letter denying the jackpot. It seems the Bally Gaming tracking system report for the machine in question revealed the progressive jackpot did not hit on the machine at the time of the disputed game.

To further complicate matters, there were no video surveillance tapes of the machine. Evidence showed the machine did not lock up after the disputed game. Furthermore, all of the credits had been played off the machine.

Yet another Nevada slot jackpot discrepancy took place at the Eldorado Hotel & Casino in Reno. A woman was playing a $1 Wheel of Fortune slot machine when she said the winning symbols popped up across the pay line on her very first play, giving her every reason to believe she had won the $2.8 million progressive jackpot.

Seconds after the jackpot symbols appeared, the reels started into a slow spin mode. A slot technician came by and told her the play wasn't legitimate.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported the machine had malfunctioned. Five days later, the same jackpot, which had grown to over $3 million, was won by somebody playing the Wheel of Fortune progressive at Harrah's Laughlin.

Finally, some years back at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., gamblers had the opportunity to play tic-tac-toe against a live chicken in the $10,000 Chicken Challenge. Anyone who beat the chicken won $10,000 cash on the spot. The only catch was that the chicken went first every time.

There was a "coop" of 15 chickens. The birds worked in shifts of one to two hours. The "on duty" chicken was housed in a windowed booth with a video tic-tac-toe screen inside. After the bird pecked the first X or O, the player responded on the game outside the booth. Play continued until there was a decision.

The chickens were trained on a farm in Tennessee. And it was said the chickens were tic-tac-toe experts that never lost.

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The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. Reach him at jbrokopp@comcast.net.

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