CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Ask the Slot Expert: Slot machine prints ticket worth more than $10,000

22 May 2019

Question: My 27-year-old grandson and I were at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore for the Preakness on May 18, 2019.

Between races he wandered around and went over to play a slot machine. He put $5 into the machine and spun the wheels, then he did so again. Both times he said the payout line-up of wheels did not indicate they were a winning line.

The cash-out light was flashing so he pressed it so he could go and bet the next horse race. A credit voucher ticket came out with a substantial amount on it. He asked a Pimlico employee working close by the machine if anyone had been playing the machine before him. She told him she had not seen anyone on the machine while she’d been working there that day.

The validation date on the voucher was May 16, 2019 — two days before we were there. The ticket states "Valid for 2,000 Days."

My grandson just put the voucher in his pocket because he thought it was bogus. He told me about the situation the next morning and gave me the ticket. I’ve called Pimlico but just get passed around from person to person.

The Credit Voucher is for $11,586.60. I’ve faxed a copy of the ticket to "World-Slot Tickets" but have not had a reply yet. Maybe I should just call our family lawyer to handle this? I do suspect that the winning credits were won on 5/16/19 (two days before we were there) because that is the validation date on the voucher.

Any advice, please.

Answer: Let's start by ruling out a scenario. Your grandson did not win the money. A slot machine will lock up whenever a player wins $1,200 or more on a spin so the casino personnel can generate the necessary tax forms. There's no way he could have won over $10,000 on two spins without having the machine lock up at least once. Furthermore, the casino would hand-pay those jackpots unless the player requested pay-to-meter instead of cash.

There are some things that aren't right about the ticket. First, you said that the date on it was 05/16/19 and you suspect the money was won on that date.

The date and time on a ticket are always the timestamp of when the ticket was generated. Any large jackpots that would have contributed to the $11,586.60, furthermore, would have been paid by hand.

I suppose though that it is possible that someone could have hit multiple $1,000 jackpots and amassed over $10,000 in credits without causing a lock-up. I've had machines print tickets that have gotten caught in the machine. Could that person have cashed out and the ticket gotten caught in the machine until your grandson cashed out?

Not likely. I'd definitely call for help if a machine held onto a $10,000 ticket. The slot attendant would have opened the machine and removed the ticket.

The second thing that is unusual about your ticket is that it is valid for 2,000 days. I have never heard of a ticket being valid for more than 180 days, let alone 2,000. Over five years? Some casinos aren't even in business that long.

Now, you mentioned contacting your lawyer, presumably to attempt to collect on the ticket. I don't think you have any chance of collecting. We know your grandson didn't win the money. If the money had been left on the machine, he still didn't win it and it belongs to someone else.

I'm reminded of a time when I went to ABC News in New York to be interviewed for a segment on a person who was denied a jackpot in New Mexico. She was playing a video slot with a top jackpot of a few thousand dollars. After a spin the machine displayed a message that she had won over $10,000 — an amount that was not possible to win on that machine. Clearly this was a malfunction.

I thought that legally the only thing she was owed was a refund of the amount she had bet. Malfunctions void all pays and plays. The casino could also offer a comped meal at its gourmet restaurant or even pay her the top jackpot possible on the machine, a PR jackpot. In any case, she wasn't entitled to the amount that was displayed — and neither are you.

Your grandson is entitled to get whatever was left of the $5 he put in the machine. Or the casino could buy the ticket back for $5. Or you could hold onto the ticket.

I think what you have is a $5 souvenir.


John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots