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Jackpot Dispute In Mississippi
Picture this: You put in three dollars into a progressive jackpot
slot machine in Biloxi, Mississippi. You pull the handle and the reels
spin. Suddenly they stop, with jackpot symbols lined up on the payline.
Bells ring and lights flash. The machine freezes, with a scale showing
the progressive jackpot is $509,000. Other players are congratulating
What a feeling! You just won the jackpot. Right?
Now imagine casino employees show up, take a quick look and say, ‘The
machine malfunctioned.’ They open the front of the machine and start
fiddling around inside. You cannot see what they are doing. Suddenly you
realize they are spinning the reels, erasing the jackpot, your jackpot.
One of them even removes one of the reels from the machine!
A man in a suit and tie tells you that you did not win. A crowd has
gathered. A player whispers in your ear, ‘Have them call the Gaming
‘Would you please call the Gaming Commission,’ you ask the suit. Even
though the law requires that in disputes of at least $500, Mississippi
casinos ‘shall immediately notify the executive director,’ the suit
actually discourages you from involving the Commission. You keep asking.
Finally, the casino calls the Commission.
You hit what you thought was the jackpot at 2:14 am. It is after 4:00
am by the time the investigating agent shows up. Almost all the other
casino patrons have gone home.
The agent talks with you and several casino employees, but you notice
he is not taking any notes.
He looks at the slot machine and runs some tests. No one working for
the casino tells the agent that they had entered and manipulated the
machine prior to his arrival.
There are 16 cameras covering this part of the casino, all making
videotapes of what is happening, but no tapes are found. The casino
later claims it kept the original tapes for ten days, as required by
law. But the surveillance supervisor testifies that he decided that
night to erase them.
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