Winning big at a casino is hard as it is. Getting burned at a casino? That's a tough loss. That's the story of one slots player, who says she lost out on millions. Playing at the Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York, she thought she hit the jackpot, but the casino isn't letting her take her winnings due to a "glitch".
Katrina Bookman was playing a slot machine at the Resorts World Casino in late August and went crazy when she hit the jackpot. She quickly posted a picture of a winning play that netted her a whopping $42,949,672.76 to share with her friends. That moment of euphoria proved to be short-lived. She was taken off the casino floor by staff and security, who wouldn't let her cash out the ticket. Instead, she would have to return the next day. When she did, it was ruled that the slot machine had malfunctioned and therefore she wasn't getting any of the money. How would you feel about that, going from a $43 million prize to absolutely nothing at all? Well, it wasn't completely nothing, as the casino did offer her a steak dinner on the house.
The issue stems from a slot machine (The Sphinx Wild), which is made by Spielo. It only offers a maximum payout of $6,500 and on the machine it says that malfunctions will void any payouts that might occur. Of course, that covers the casino but it's not exactly fair to the player.
Bookman is thinking about suing the casino for millions, and at the very least she would like to receive the $6,500 payout. Maybe she knew going into the game that the maximum she could win is $6,500, but if she did win she should at least receive that.
This isn't the first time this type of situation has presented itself in a casino. In 2011, Behar Merlaku thought he won $58 million from a casino in Austria but that casino also claimed a malfunction. He sued the casino and settled out of court for about $1.1 million. Another story comes from 2009 when Ly Sam thought that he had won $55 million at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel. The machine only had a maximum payout of $46,000, but he sued the casino and after some negotiations he settled out of court.
That might be the plan of action for Bookman, who said that she would like to receive the maximum $6,500 and she would buy the New York State Gaming Commission a steak dinner. To no one's surprise, the New York State Gaming Commission ruled in favor of the casino and upheld the decision to not pay anything to Bookman.
From past history, Bookman should probably settle for a decent amount and it should cost the casino a lot more than a steak dinner. Her win would have been the biggest jackpot victory from a slot machine in American history. Instead, she went home with nothing. Bookman is a single mother with four kids and it's likely that the court sides with her in some way if she presses it that far. Not only do the optics look bad for the casino, there is precedent on the player's side.