Can a Casino Deny your Jackpot Win?

Casinos reserve the right to withhold your winnings if they deem that a slot machine awarded them as part of a malfunction. You’ve probably read this as part of a disclaimer somewhere, but imagine if it actually happened. Turns out, it did.

Veronica Castillo, a woman from Portland, Oregon, recently took a trip with her mother to the Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington. She doesn’t describe herself as a big gambler, but that didn’t stop her from getting in on the fun during this trip. Early in the morning on the second day of the visit, she decided to test her luck at a video slot called Jurassic Riches. After a few spins, she hit a combination that would immediately change her life, but not in the way she’d originally hoped.

According to Castillo, her balance on Jurassic Riches began a lengthy climb, reaching more than $8.5 million before all was said and done. Obviously, she was stunned, and players at surrounding games were understandably excited. For about five minutes, she had become a millionaire. Then, bad news came her way.

innerdenied11062015After reviewing the win, casino bosses concluded that the jackpot was the result of a machine malfunction. Instead, casino officials stated that she had won just $80. Trying to imagine the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach after the pure joy of hitting the jackpot isn’t a pretty picture, to say the least. She recounted that, after the big win, casino staff shut off the machine, took it off the gaming floor and gave her $80. While all casino machines typically feature a sticker stating that a malfunction of the machine voids all pays and plays, it’s still a shocking turn of events.

“I felt insulted, I felt cheated,” Castillo told the local NBC affiliate following the win. “I was disappointed, very upset, and then I started to think about all the people there. And then I got angry.

Castillo isn’t giving up on her jackpot payout. She is currently in the process of getting an attorney to challenge the casino’s decision. Castillo indicated that, while she hopes to get the prize money, she also wants to prevent this scenario from happening again to other people.

Despite firm rules against photography in most casinos, Castillo’s case is supported by cell phone footage of the jackpot total. Casino security did stop her from recording, but images of the win are already making the rounds on the web.

John Setterstrom, chief executive officer of the Lucky Eagle Casino, claimed that this was the first time since the casino opened in 1995 that a malfunction has negated a payout. He said he is working with the manufacturer to get more information about the machine, and he hopes to keep Castillo as a customer in the future.

What would you do if you won a jackpot, but it was ruled ineligible? There’s nothing like an $8.5 million computer malfunction to put a serious damper on a trip to the local casino.


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