What happens when you win big at the casino but they won’t pay?

It is really every casino gambler’s ultimate dream – to strike it lucky at the casino, to win big, to make your fortune. Whatever game you are playing – whether it is the table games such as poker, blackjack, roulette, or baccarat, or if you are trying your luck on the slot machines, what you are hoping for with each roll of the dice, spin of the wheel, press of the button, or turn of the cards is that your numbers are finally going to come up, that you are going to hit the jackpot.

Most gamblers fantasise about that moment, have day-dreams about what they’re going to spend the money on. Imagine if you finally won the jackpot but the casino refused to pay – well that is exactly what happened to one woman who was gambling in Washington in the United States recently.

The unlucky gambler

Veronica Castillo, a 42-year-old woman from Portland, Oregon, was playing the slot machines at the Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington. Castillo was playing alongside her mother, she was playing a slot machine game called Jurassic Riches. At the moment in question, Castillo put $100 into the machine and pressed the button to spin the digital wheels of the machine. In a moment of excitement, the machine showed that Castillo had hit the jackpot – a jackpot worth a whopping US$8 million.

However Castillo’s celebrations were short-lived as casino staff explained that the machine display was showing an error and that all she was entitled to was US$80.

The computer says no

Understandably Castillo was upset and felt that the casino had cheated her out of the money that she had one. Each of the slot machines in the casino display a sticker that says that a malfunction of the machine voids all pays and plays.

A spokesperson for Lucky Eagle Casino has stated that the machine that Castillo was playing was only able to pay a maximum jackpot of US$20,000, making the US$8 million jackpot that was displayed clearly an error. The casino explained that the jackpot of US$20,000 could only be won if the maximum bet is placed on all lines. Based on the number of lines and credits that Castillo was betting, the maximum payout that would have been available through this machine was US$6,000.

Can you trust the casinos?

The rules and regulations surrounding this type of situation will vary depending on the location. In the United States each state has its own regulatory framework and so any investigation needs to be bound by the processes set out in those local regulations.

Casino gamblers can win big payouts, but it would probably be best not to win at all rather than to have an experience like Veronica Castillo who won big but then had it all taken away from her. Sometimes luck just doesn’t go your way.

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