Slot Machine Error Was Win Win for Some Detroit Casino Goers . July 2001

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Slot Machine Error Was Win Win for Some Detroit Casino Goers

By Howard Berenbon

In late April, at the three Detroit casinos and one Windsor casino, a large number of slot machines were cheating themselves out of thousands of dollars a day.  Some happy casino goers found themselves winning at the casino's expense because of errors found in their paper money mechanism of some of the WMS Industries machines including Boom, Reel 'em In and Filthy Rich.  Discovered by employees of Detroit's MotorCity Casino, a software programming error caused the paper money feeder to jam, then rejecting the next inserted bill while crediting the value as coins entered.

These problems do come up, especially in newer casinos where the machines are usually the latest design and fresh from the slot factory ready to your some real-time testing, which your money.   You'd hope the machines function the way they're designed,  so you have a fair chance of winning.  However, if they're new, they can have bugs.  If a machine does act up, like eating your money without giving you the credits, or not to paying off for a jackpot, all you have to do is call an attendant and get some help.  Casinos are very happy to pay off when you've won, and, off course, just as happy to take your money when you've lost.

Now, if you were one of the lucky players playing the defective machines in Detroit and winning because of a malfunction, you must have been very happy.  You were definitely, very lucky to find a defective machine that was in your favor.   Once the glitch was discovered, the casinos were quick to make the corrections.   Now the questions are, do you have an obligation to tell the casino about the error?  Would they consider your winning, cheating?  The answers are very easy, and it's "no" to both.   If you were playing one of those machines, you're entitled to the win.  It's not the players' responsibility detect defective machines.  You don't work for the casino, you're a customer keeping the casinos profits flowing.  It's the casinos' responsibility to discover any defective equipment and make the repairs, and they do that all the time.  So, if you find that you're winning on a slot machine, maybe, more than the odds would allow, consider yourself very lucky and continue playing to win.  Now, it is not legal to tamper with a slot machine, and that's considered cheating, but it's fair game if you just sit down at a machine and you win because it's defective.

Howard Berenbon