New Jersey woman to take legal action against Atlantic City casino after being refused $2.5M payout

May 29, 2024, 9:20 am (25 comments)

Gambling

"What's the use in playing then?"

By Kate Northrop

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — An Atlantic City casino is refusing to pay out a $2.56 million prize to a woman who had appeared to hit the jackpot on a slot machine.

A New Jersey woman is preparing to file claims against an Atlantic City casino and its gaming company, International Game Technology (IGT), after being told that she "won nothing" instead of a $2.56 million jackpot at a slot machine.

Roney Beal, 72, of Shamong Township, went from feeling on top of the world to experiencing instant heartbreak after casino employees told her that she would not be getting a $2.56 million payout due to a mechanical and technical error with the slot machine she played on.

"I was hoping for $1,000, saying, 'Please God let me win,'" Beal told ABC Philadelphia.

In late February of this year, Beal went to Bally's Casino to play the slots. After spending hundreds at a Wheel of Fortune slot machine, one lucky spin, as far as she could tell, was all it took for the machine to show her a seven-figure windfall of $2.56 million.

The wheel landed on the word "Jackpot," accompanied by a dollar sign, followed by an audible "You won" sound.

"And it went off, says, 'you're a winner' and gold coins popped out," Beal recalled. "This very nice guy says, 'Oh my God, you hit, you hit!' He said, 'Lady you're a millionaire.' And I'm like, 'Oh my God!'"

Beal had won a prize worth over $1.2 million but won more since she had also hit the multiplier. At least, that's what the machine was showing her.

She hit the service button on the machine to call for help, and security personnel came over to investigate.

"That's when the sentences came up 'tilted,'" Beal recounted. "When the man came over to talk to me, he said, 'Lady, get it in your head, you won nothing.'"

Casino employees explained to her that the machines had experienced what was called a "reel tilt," a malfunction that occurs when the physical reels on the machine do not match the digital reels in the game's internal system.

After being told that her win didn't count as a result, a Bally's attendant opened the machine and asked her to "spin it off," and she refused.

"He had it rolling real slow," Beal continued. "He had it opened and then he is pushing it."

She watched the attendant pushing different buttons inside the machine, after which he offered her $350 instead, she told ABC Philadelphia.

Mike Di Croce, Beal's attorney, believes that the employee's actions were the same as tampering with evidence of a legitimate win.

"They fooled with the machine before anybody else had the opportunity to take a look at this," Di Croce contended.

Di Croce added that there is a fair case against Bally's and IGT. In 2000, another slot machine player took IGT and New Orleans-based Harrah Casino to court and won for the exact same scenario. IGT argued that the computer system ultimately overrode whatever aesthetic symbols appeared before the player on the slot machine. In the end, IGT was still responsible for paying out a $1.3 million jackpot to the player.

Beal and Di Croce are preparing to take legal action against IGT and Bally's, including an emotional distress claim for $1 million. An IGT spokesperson told Business Insider that IGT was "cooperating with the investigation of this matter."

Bally's is shifting the blame to IGT, saying that the matter of determining a legitimate payout in this circumstance is the sole responsibility of IGT.

"Bally's has no comment on this incident as we're only the casino who houses the machine," a Bally's spokesperson told the New York Post. "IGT handles the payouts and would be best to get a comment from at this time."

Di Croce calls it an excuse.

"Bally's says, 'Come to our casino, play our machines,'" Di Croce told the New York Post. "There's no information that there's a third-party contract. Ultimately, Bally's should be responsible as well. Bally's can't hide behind this other company."

While Beal and Di Croce are busy building a case against IGT and the casino for her $2.56 million prize, she said the ordeal has left her "very anxious." Having suffered a heart attack one year ago, she is "hoping and praying" that she gets the money before she passes.

"I'm upset because I want the money, and I will help people with it," she said in an interview.

She was hoping to use the winnings to buy a trailer for her homeless son, but for now, that possibility remains uncertain.

"Why would I ever go to a casino again in my life? Any casino?" she supposed. "Why, if there is no hope?"

Lottery Post Staff

Comments

wander73's avatarwander73

The casinos  can do anything they want ,regardless.

Bleudog101

I hope she can get video evidence of this 'transaction'.

 

True enough all slot machines have a disclaimer 'Machine malfunction voids all plays.'

 

I can personally attest to the fact that with my jackpots and my roommate's THIRTY TWO jackpots last year no employee EVER touches the machine play button.  They put in a key in in for some reason, they ALWAYS tell you to hit play without fail.   That employee had no business doing what he did if in fact he did as she stated.  Maybe the key resets the RNG, next time I go I will certainly ask one of the Attendants?!

wander73's avatarwander73

I recall years ago I had the cheat sheet for Blackjack, but I was afraid to use it because camera is all over the place and casinos. 
I don't go to casinos no more. I just stopped going about I don't know 20 years ago.

I went with a friend of mine we went to Atlantic City. ,  it was on New Year's Eve in the mid 2000s maybe early 2000s and it was his birthday. Still forget that night. .  I ended up asking security where he was at because I couldn't find him and then he showed up my dude I had to call security. I want to go. I was just so out of it. I probably was after 1130 midnight and when we were driving back, I thought we were gonna die. We are in Atlantic Expressway. I couldn't even keep my eyes open. I didn't get home till 430 that morning, but I had all this money and I'm awake. This is ridiculous.

Tony Numbers's avatarTony Numbers

The attendant's actions are tantamount to trying to destroy evidence. Also the fact that they tried to offer her $350.00 ( hush money) is an admission of fault. And the excuse that the digital(computer) doesn't match up with the mechanical (analog) is laughable. How do we know if there is a default system installed that purposely misaligns the computer and the analog after a jackpot is hit? Hopefully she has a good lawyer -- looks like she has a good case.

Bleudog101

Quote: Originally posted by Tony Numbers on May 29, 2024

The attendant's actions are tantamount to trying to destroy evidence. Also the fact that they tried to offer her $350.00 ( hush money) is an admission of fault. And the excuse that the digital(computer) doesn't match up with the mechanical (analog) is laughable. How do we know if there is a default system installed that purposely misaligns the computer and the analog after a jackpot is hit? Hopefully she has a good lawyer -- looks like she has a good case.

Good point.  Very few machines like this exist anymore.  I think on her machine it has to have three Wheel of Fortunes on the bottom mechanical reel to hit the big jackpot.   But not seeing a picture of what occurred not sure.  come to think of it have never seen anyone get that on the bottom reels so don't know if the WOF wheel on top spins or not.

 

Just like trying to find the old Megabucks machine anywhere it Nevada, very rare and have to ask where a machine MIGHT be, and nowadays last time I went there was just one.   One day they'll replace that fun mechanical  dinosaur with an electronic version (come on IGT!).

Artist77's avatarArtist77

This is why I have zero interest in casinos.

If the prior case fact pattern is that similar or identical, sounds like a solid case.

The casino hired that company, IGT.  One cannot avoid liability by shifting the blame to a contract hire.

This would not be a good case for the casino to take to trial.

poolshooter4

Quote: Originally posted by Bleudog101 on May 29, 2024

I hope she can get video evidence of this 'transaction'.

 

True enough all slot machines have a disclaimer 'Machine malfunction voids all plays.'

 

I can personally attest to the fact that with my jackpots and my roommate's THIRTY TWO jackpots last year no employee EVER touches the machine play button.  They put in a key in in for some reason, they ALWAYS tell you to hit play without fail.   That employee had no business doing what he did if in fact he did as she stated.  Maybe the key resets the RNG, next time I go I will certainly ask one of the Attendants?!

Sad but true, they scammed me out of $10,000.00

Artist77's avatarArtist77

PS Settlement offers are not admissible in court but I doubt the $350 "offer" would qualify as an offer.  It was without approval of their counsel and not in writing.

Stack47

Quote: Originally posted by Bleudog101 on May 29, 2024

I hope she can get video evidence of this 'transaction'.

 

True enough all slot machines have a disclaimer 'Machine malfunction voids all plays.'

 

I can personally attest to the fact that with my jackpots and my roommate's THIRTY TWO jackpots last year no employee EVER touches the machine play button.  They put in a key in in for some reason, they ALWAYS tell you to hit play without fail.   That employee had no business doing what he did if in fact he did as she stated.  Maybe the key resets the RNG, next time I go I will certainly ask one of the Attendants?!

"She hit the service button on the machine to call for help"

But on every machine where I got a hand pay win, lights started blinking, the screen showed the amount, and "jackpot hand pay required".

This story reminds me of the woman believing she won $42,949,672 on a penny slot machine. Not many of the linked multi machines have jackpots that large. How many individual slot machines have you seen that have $2.56 million jackpots?

Bleudog101

Quote: Originally posted by Stack47 on May 29, 2024

"She hit the service button on the machine to call for help"

But on every machine where I got a hand pay win, lights started blinking, the screen showed the amount, and "jackpot hand pay required".

This story reminds me of the woman believing she won $42,949,672 on a penny slot machine. Not many of the linked multi machines have jackpots that large. How many individual slot machines have you seen that have $2.56 million jackpots?

Not sure about Atlantic City machines, been a while since we've been there and not sure how their machines are linked to other casinos there (same machines).

As for Nevada, WOF, Megabucks to name a few are all linked together from Laughlin all the way to the casinos in Stateline, NV (Lake Tahoe).  Probably 15 years ago sent an email to the Indiana GC suggesting that the casinos there--at that time all riverboats--get linked to Nevada casinos.  Come to think of this was pre law change from the Feds allowing wagering in states, so my idea was illegal!!

Brock Lee's avatarBrock Lee

Quote: Originally posted by Stack47 on May 29, 2024

"She hit the service button on the machine to call for help"

But on every machine where I got a hand pay win, lights started blinking, the screen showed the amount, and "jackpot hand pay required".

This story reminds me of the woman believing she won $42,949,672 on a penny slot machine. Not many of the linked multi machines have jackpots that large. How many individual slot machines have you seen that have $2.56 million jackpots?

she thinks she won because the wheel landed on the word "jackpot" then the machine said "you won" and spit gold coins out.

Artist77's avatarArtist77

Quote: Originally posted by Brock Lee on May 29, 2024

she thinks she won because the wheel landed on the word "jackpot" then the machine said "you won" and spit gold coins out.

Exactly.  The fact pattern is in her favor.

Lotterologist's avatarLotterologist

She'll get the money, but she'll have to fight for it.

Adversity makes life interesting.

No greater joy than achieving victory over your adversaries.

Nothing sweeter than being right and proving them wrong.

Stack47

"Megabucks to name a few are all linked together from Laughlin all the way to the casinos in Stateline, NV (Lake Tahoe) "

That's was my point on how to get multi million jackpots and a $40 million Megabucks jackpot was paid out about 20 years ago. Read about a $1,037,828 jackpot won a $25 machine at the Venetian so it's possible though the article doesn't state what denomination she was playing. Many machines have six figure jackpots but require betting the maximum to win the jackpot and it's usually around $10 a spin on penny machines. 

Thought is was strange when Roney Beal said "and gold coins popped out"; when was the last time you played on a coin slot machine* in a casino? And didn't she take the gold coins if they actually "popped out of the machine"?

*The Quarter coin Sigma Derby horse racing betting machine at The "D" in downtown Las Vegas is the only one in Vegas.

Subscribe to this news story