Here’s a story to make your elbow itch. A woman playing at a slot machine scored the life-changing win of $8.5 million. Think of how ecstatic she must of felt. All the changes she could make in her life and those around her. The new house in the burbs and an even bigger pick-up truck. Exotic holidays with gin Martini’s (WTF are those, she must be think) on the beach….err…hold up! The casino says it had a slot machine malfunction. At that exact moment! Too funny if the whole saga wasn’t so sad. Still no emotion without contrast. And she must of experienced the whole spectrum of them. Only in America can you be unhappy about what you never had.
Introduction: Slot Machine Malfunction
The Newcastle Casino is in the Oklahoma town of the same name. It’s about 20 minutes southeast of Oklahoma City. The establishment has a bingo area, 14 table games, and over 3,000 gaming machines (and non of them work…just kidding. They only work to take your money!). It’s owners are the Chickasaw Nation, who are one of the largest tribal gaming operators in Oklahoma.
Her Name is Maribel, Maribel Loser
The unlucky gamblers’ name is Maribel Sanchez. She was playing at the Liberty 7 slots machine. This is an old fashioned three wheel slot with one game line. They say that it plays on gamblers’ patriotism, using a red, white and blue as its color scheme. Yeah right, a Mexican playing in an Indian Reservation casino! The minimum bet is 10 cents a spin and the maximum is $30. Sanchez was playing the high roller with $1.25 bets. Living the dream baby! Or rather not. So she pops in the mullah, and wins big: a jackpot of $8,469,498.95. Lets all have a little dance of joy for her. But working class dreams need to come back down to earth for necessity, as this is where they truly belong. Here’s betting she wished she had played at Bovada. At least when you win, they pay you out instantly.
Play the Laugh Track
Pity the poor soul who had to inform her that, by equally bad/good luck, the machine had a malfunction at that exact moment. Just imagine the look on the poor woman’s face. Priceless. Hopefully the manager, who was the bearer of this news, had the foresight to take a photo her mug, showing the highest and lowest emotional points in her life. And then post it onto the casino’s Instagram account. That’s why playing online is better. You get paid out what you win without this runaround. Have a look at this list of online casino sites in the US for a better time than this poor woman had to endure.
Now You see Me, Now You Don’t
Her daughter, Linda, said that the machine screen went black soon after her mother had won. But not before the quick thinking mum had taken a screen shot of the slot machine’s screen (screen Inception!) which teased and goaded her with a huge prize just beyond her reach. “As soon as the machine said she won the prize, the machine shut off,” said the younger Sanchez. “It went black. (Why, oh why, bring racism into this matter?). She didn’t know how much she had won at that point”. Though the mother’s photo does show $8,469,498.95, the casino is unmoved, and refuses to pay out.
Slot Machine Malfunction: Read the Rules
According to the casino’s own House Rule Number 21, (which are readily available on the casino’s website), all disputes must be reported to the management. To quote; “If disputes cannot be resolved with management, players may appeal to the Chickasaw Nation Office of the Gaming Commissioner by completing a prize claim form”. Hopefully this form is easy for her to fill out and doesn’t contain any long words. As you can imagine, Maribel Sanchez is reluctant to watch her hopes fade to nothing but hot and salty tears, filled with bitterness, as they wash away her broken American dream. To pursue this gross injustice she has now retained legal counsel (as they like to say in the States). She is considering legal action against the casino. Or rather her lawyer is working out the pro’s and con’s of pursuing the case from his financial perspective.
A Lawyer Says 50/50
“Ms. Sanchez’s legal position is clear. She put money in the machine. She won a jackpot of almost 8 and 1/2 million dollars, and she demands to immediately be paid her winnings”, said Bill Zuhdi, Sanchez’s lawyer. “Ms. Sanchez opposes the casino not paying her the jackpot she won. And she opposes the casino’s reason for not paying her”. But the casino points to a label which is fixed onto the side of every slot machine. It states that “slot machine malfunctions void all pays and plays”. In other words, read the small print!
Never an Error in Favor of the Player
Slot machine malfunction errors are nothing new. A gambler in Queens, New York won nearly $43 million on the Sphinx slot machine in 2017. Or rather, he thought he’d won, as the casino refused to pay out. And the reason…you’ve guessed it. Machine error. Then in 2015, a woman in Iowa was led to believe that she had scored $41 million playing a penny slot in the Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo. But the management said that was impossible as the device was only able to pay out a maximum of $10,000. Apparently the would be winner/actual loser was 90 years old. So the money would of been wasted on her old bones anyway. Pumping coins into an actual machine that may or may not pay out is just so passe. Stick with online casinos like Bovada for a much better experience….and you don’t even have to leave the house!
Time to Move on
Because these scenes have been playing out in courts all over the country, Sanchez has an uphill struggle to get her/the casino’s money. Historically, courts have always sided with (big business) the casinos when machine errors or software faults occur.
Lawyer Sound Bite
“The casino has refused to pay Ms. Sanchez what we believe the facts will support. That she legitimately and legally won the $8,469,498.95, and therefore, should have been paid, and that she should be paid immediately”, said Zhudi told online casino news in the US with a barely concealed smirk. Whilst keeping his fingers crossed behind his back. And clutching a rabbit’s paw and a four leaf clover. “We are currently continuing our investigation in the case and will pursue all Ms. Sanchez’s legal options”. Someone should just delete that photo and do her a favor, by allowing her to move on.