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Grandmother Accepts Defeat After Being Denied $41.8 Million Casino Payout

An Illinois grandmother who took a casino to court after it refused to pay her a $41.8 million (£27.3 million) bonus has admitted she had her doubts from the start after her lawsuit was finally thrown out last week. A message had flashed up on-screen when Pauline McKee was playing the Miss Kitty slot game at the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo, informing her that she had snapped up the staggering bonus.

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When staff at the casino insisted that it was a computer error and that ‘malfunction voids all pays and plays’, McKee, who had won 185 credits (the equivalent of $1.85), sued for breach of contract and customer fraud. To help the court, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) sent the software to an independent laboratory for investigation.

It was found that the bonus seemingly awarded to McKee wasn’t valid because the maximum bonus the machine had been designed to pay out was only $10,000. The manufacturers of the game, Aristocrat Technologies, told the court that casinos had been urged to disable the bonus feature due to issues with computer glitches. The Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo appears to have ignored the manufacturers’ advice.

The court sided with the casino in 2013, but the case dragged on for another two years as McKee’s lawyers argued that the machine may not have really malfunctioned and questioned the jurisdiction of the IRGC. Mckee has now philosophically accepted defeat, though, after her claim was dismissed last week by the Iowa Supreme Court.

“I had my doubts from the start, because that’s a lot of money for a penny machine,” McKee, now 90, told the Chicago Tribune. “I was hoping to help my children out financially, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Similar incidents have happened previously in the US where players have been shown displays erroneously stating that they are entitled to bonuses. A Mississippi court threw out a claim in 2009 that a player had landed $1 million, as game rules limited bonuses to $8,000.


Page Last Updated: 26/01/2016 08:24:45