CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Related Links
Related News
Recent Articles
Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Disputed Empress slot jackpot has a happy ending

20 February 2008

It started out as another pleasant getaway for Dawn and her husband at the Empress Casino in Joliet the weekend before the New Year. They spent Friday night in the hotel, shared an enjoyable dinner in Alex Steakhouse, and visited the casino for a little gambling on Saturday night.

Late in the evening, about 11:30 pm, Dawn decided to try her luck in the High Limit slot area. She sat down at a $5.00 stand alone Triple Double Diamond progressive slot and began to play.

She was doing o.k. when all of a sudden the fateful spin of the reels appeared. The machine locked down and an electronic chorus of sounds told Dawn and everyone around her that she had hit a hand-pay jackpot.

"I looked at the meter and saw the words, 'Call Attendant - Hand Pay $25,561'," Dawn said. "The machine's progressive display changed to 'Current - $12,500'. Everybody started coming around to congratulate me, even some of the slot floor personnel. My heart was beating so fast and I almost started to cry."

After acknowledging the jackpot, the slot attendants asked Dawn to wait at the machine until they returned with the paperwork and her winnings, which is the protocol for anyone who hits a slot jackpot of $1,200 or more.

The wait, however, became increasingly long. She sat there for about half an hour, all the while believing she had won over $25,000 as other players continue to stop by and marvel at her good fortune.

At long last the attendants returned, but this time they weren't so jubilant. Dawn could tell by the looks on their faces that something wasn't right.

"They apologized to me for the long wait and explained they were waiting for a representative from the Illinois Gaming Board because they believed there was a machine malfunction which had to be investigated," Dawn said.

The evidence was on the reels. In order to win the progressive jackpot, max coins had to be played and three Triple Diamond jackpot symbols had to line up across the pay line. Dawn had played max coins all right, but the combination of symbols was Triple Diamond-Triple Diamond-DOUBLE DIAMOND.

The pay table on the machine's glass display clearly stated mixed Triple and Double Diamond symbols was an $8,000 hand-pay jackpot, not the progressive. Apparently there was a glitch of some sort in the machine's computer program which triggered the top award on Dawn's particular reel configuration.

Following a lengthy discussion, Empress officials decided that the jackpot was the result of a machine malfunction and that Dawn was entitled only to the $8,000.

Dawn was devastated, yet Empress had a point. They paid her for the jackpot the reels displayed in spite of the fact every machine carries the disclaimer: "Machine malfunction voids all pays and plays".

But was it really a "malfunction", or, as Dawn argued: "Was the machine only doing what its computer program was telling it to do?"

Upon further review, Empress reversed their decision and made a magnanimous call. On January 8 they decided to award her the progressive. Dawn was issued a check for the balance, $17,561.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp