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Best of John Robison

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Why did the casino check my machine after I hit a jackpot on it?

8 June 2009

I am a fan and get your writings via e-mail and if it pertains to slots I devour the info! I have a situation I have not seen before in your column or anywhere else.

I won $50,000 on a 10x5 machine ($5, 2 coins) at a Connecticut casino a couple of years ago. It was the top prize offered above the machine like a progressive BUT I won on something like a 10 times 7 (not sure it was so long ago and winning money already fed into other machines over the years, LOL).

When the "authorities" other than the slot payout floor personnel came, there were two of them (the suits) and they had with them a metal cart/table with lots of papers and drawers and hand-held machines in it, etc. (Again it was a long time ago but this was a substantial "cart".) I have not see this cart anywhere since!

They took FOREVER inside the machine and lots of talking back and forth and figuring, etc. When I asked if anything was wrong they said, "Oh no we always have to do a check like this when the amount is $35,000 or more".

The payout took forever as well, and I was very surprised they did not ask me to take a photo, offer me a room, or any comp at all to get me to stay, etc. I asked for $10,000 cash and the rest in a check so they knew I had the cash to gamble. (I have seen winners of $10,000 have a fuss made over them in the same room and photos taken, etc.)

On a return trip, the machine was gone! It had been there for some time in the high-limit room.

I guess my real questions are: Do you think that there may have been a suspected problem with the machine, paying off the maximum amount listed on the progressive-like banner on top when it was not the top required 10-10 but a 10 times instead? Why did they keep everything on what seemed to be the "down low," with no fuss or comp offers or photo for publicity? Was all the checking that was done really that necessary? I have never seen that much done to a machine, ever!

Thanks!
Nancie

Dear Nancie,

Thanks for the kind words about my column. And congratulations on your jackpot!

I don't think the casino suspected a problem with the machine. It's common that a casino has to verify jackpots over a certain amount. The verification involves running various tests to ensure that the machine and the chips inside it have not been tampered with. The checking was necessary perhaps not only because of the casino's standard operating procedures, but also because of statutory requirements.

I don't know why the casino didn't make a fuss over your jackpot. I also don't know why the machine was removed, but casinos add and remove machines all the time, so I don't think its disappearance is related to your good fortune on it.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

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