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When tech goes wrong: Man who wins $57m on slot machine told it's a software error, offered $100
Yahoo News ^ | 12/11/11 | Trevor Mogg

Posted on 12/13/2011 10:32:40 AM PST by AngelesCrestHighway

It wouldn’t matter whether it was at the gambling mecca of Vegas, or, as in the case of Behar Merlaku, at a little-known casino in the tiny Austrian town of Bregenz – if the bells and lights on the slot machine I’m on start ringing and flashing, telling me I’ve won $57 million, then of course I’ll be planning my retirement. But when Swiss national Merlaku went to claim his jackpot, owners of the casino simply said there’d been a “software error” and that the 26-year-old was therefore not entitled to the big money prize. Instead they offered him $100 and a free meal, which, hardly surprisingly, he rejected. Admittedly, it appeared that the top prize was for a five-slot match, whereas Merlaku had only managed to match four-slots, but with the machine’s screen and accompanying racket telling him he’d won, why wouldn’t he believe it?

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: gambling; luck
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Jeez!...Ouch!
1 posted on 12/13/2011 10:32:47 AM PST by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

I’ll wager that at some point, somewhere, there was a disclaimer that anyone entering the casino had to “accept,” saying that the house is not responsible for software errors.


2 posted on 12/13/2011 10:35:09 AM PST by Genoa (Starve the beast.)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Casinos are basically honest?

$100?!!!

Sue the heck out of them.


3 posted on 12/13/2011 10:36:38 AM PST by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Yeah, software error, that explains it...


4 posted on 12/13/2011 10:38:50 AM PST by Hacklehead (Lets stop bashing Republican candidates and get back to bashing OBAMA.)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

That seems to be a recurring theme with casinos.


5 posted on 12/13/2011 10:38:57 AM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Are they going to give refunds to all the people who previously LOST on that machine which had a software error? Or do software errors only work to the house’s advantage?


6 posted on 12/13/2011 10:39:07 AM PST by circlecity
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To: Genoa

who’s to say the jackpot wasn’t correct, and the 4 of 5 matches showing wasn’t the error?

I give the guy 1 million and hope he takes it.


7 posted on 12/13/2011 10:39:15 AM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Newt Gingrich 2012!)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Stay away from electronic slot machines. Especially the ones that have a really chintzy sound of coins hitting the pan.


8 posted on 12/13/2011 10:39:46 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Would love to be involved in this trial.

“So, if a software error means an illegitimate winner was declared, did the software refund money to people who took what they believed to be a legitimate gamble?”. Followed by “Has the Casino made any public offering to refund the money it then took from everyone who played in the casino?”.

Throw the book, this casino is an organized group, who illegitimately defrauded every customer who came in; potentially millions of dollars, invoke RICO statues; such that paying the ‘software glitch’ winner his winnings would be infinitely easier than sending the entire company to jail, and fines easily 10x the winning amount.


9 posted on 12/13/2011 10:40:31 AM PST by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Sure seems to be an awful lot of these slot machines that suffer software glitches just when a big payout come along.

Some enterprising young lawyer could probably cobble together a class action lawsuit against these casinos and the manufacturer. I mean if they glitch as often as they do on the big payouts what’s to say they don’t glitch way more often and not payout when they are supposed to?


10 posted on 12/13/2011 10:41:29 AM PST by VeniVidiVici ("Si, se gimme!")
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To: hoosierham

” Sue the heck out of them. “

In the neighborhood I grew up in, people such as these Casino owners would be branded as “Welchers”, and they could look forward to a short, painful, future...

This type of story is cropping up almost on a monthly basis, and a little ‘street justice’ would go a long way towards putting and end to it...


11 posted on 12/13/2011 10:41:48 AM PST by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: Dallas59

Especially the Injun casinos....they’ll play the ‘sovereign nation’ card at the drop of a hat.


12 posted on 12/13/2011 10:42:10 AM PST by ErnBatavia (Obama Voters: Jose Baez wants YOU for his next jury pool.......)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

I am pretty sure the odds and payouts are on the face of the machine. That is the contract entered into when (prior to) placing the money in the machine. 5 of 5 wins the big payou, 4 of 5 wins $100. Black letter law.

It doesn’t say “if the machine yells you won it means you won.”

I don’t know about the laws there but the laws here would be with the casino.


13 posted on 12/13/2011 10:42:39 AM PST by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

"We, uh, we fixed the *glitch*"

14 posted on 12/13/2011 10:44:03 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Paladin2

I only play the ones with the real spinning reels


15 posted on 12/13/2011 10:45:14 AM PST by al baby (Is that old windbag still on the air ?)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

That’s awful. I can’t imagine what that’s like to think you can retire with Millions one moment and learn it was a mistake the next. I’ve only misread a lotto ticket once and thought I won $100 but only got a few bucks on the ticket. Oh well win some lose some.......


16 posted on 12/13/2011 10:45:24 AM PST by jakerobins
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To: circlecity

If the damn machine tells me I’ve won then I’ve won. I’m not responsible for a malfunctioning machine...Sue!


17 posted on 12/13/2011 10:46:25 AM PST by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: ErnBatavia

I walked out of Morongo with 2800 bucks and a voucher to come back and spend a week end once


18 posted on 12/13/2011 10:47:47 AM PST by al baby (Is that old windbag still on the air ?)
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To: freedumb2003

But the machine must have said 5 0f 5.


19 posted on 12/13/2011 10:47:53 AM PST by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Genoa
I’ll wager that at some point, somewhere, there was a disclaimer that anyone entering the casino had to “accept,” saying that the house is not responsible for software errors.

He was Swiss and probably couldn't read Austrian.

20 posted on 12/13/2011 10:48:05 AM PST by fso301
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Didn’t Coke or Pepsi do something like this in the Philippines about 10 or so years ago?


21 posted on 12/13/2011 10:49:59 AM PST by fso301
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To: Hodar

No kidding. I was thinking very similar things. This is begging for a lawsuit and a federal investigation.


22 posted on 12/13/2011 10:50:27 AM PST by mamelukesabre (.)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway
But the machine must have said 5 0f 5.

From the article:

"Admittedly, it appeared that the top prize was for a five-slot match, whereas Merlaku had only managed to match four-slots, "

23 posted on 12/13/2011 10:51:34 AM PST by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: fso301

Swissian is very close to Austrian.


24 posted on 12/13/2011 10:53:12 AM PST by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: Hodar
[...] Throw the book, this casino is an organized group, who illegitimately defrauded every customer who came in; [...]

It will make an interesting case. I wouldn't say it is so cut-and-dried though. I don't think anyone can show intent on the part of the casino to defraud. It was an error in the coding. The casino shouldn't always be responsible for every kind of human or machine failure. It's reasonable to limit their liability somewhere too.

I would observe that the machine didn't actually indicate a five-line winner. It indicated a small four-line winner. The mistake was in displaying the value of the pot. This is not unlike, say, winning a hand of blackjack and having the dealer dispense the wrong amount of winnings. If the dealer accidently dispenses a $1000 dollar chip for a $10 dollar winning hand-- it certainly doesn't mean that the player gets to keep the mistaken chip. Say the pit boss sees the mistake and intervenes, I think he's got every right to insist that the player take the proper amount instead.

25 posted on 12/13/2011 10:53:19 AM PST by Ramius (Personally, I'd give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

This is why I don’t gamble. The house always wins, even when it loses.


26 posted on 12/13/2011 10:54:13 AM PST by Guyin4Os (A messianic ger-tsedek)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Maybe they should offer him a free Toy Yoda.


27 posted on 12/13/2011 10:54:23 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS! This means liberals AND libertarians (same thing) NO LIBS!)
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To: Romulus
Swissian is very close to Austrian.

May also be related to Lichtenstinian.

28 posted on 12/13/2011 11:06:29 AM PST by fso301
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To: Hodar

The house always wins even if they have to pay off the judge, threaten the winner or his family, kill people. The legitimate gambling industry is only slightly removed from organised crime.
If you gamble best to do it as entertainment not as some form of income increaser you will always give them more than you take, simply walk in expecting to walk out with nothing and at least you will have the right mind set.
Best to not walk in at all. Your choice!


29 posted on 12/13/2011 11:10:07 AM PST by qman (If you are prepared you can't be surprised.)
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To: Dallas59

This is a recurring theme with casinos. Every big win is a software error.


30 posted on 12/13/2011 11:12:39 AM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: fso301
He was Swiss and probably couldn't read Austrian.

But Obama can read Austrian.;)

31 posted on 12/13/2011 11:18:17 AM PST by exit82 (Democrats are the enemies of freedom. We have ideas-the Dems only have ideology.)
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To: Dallas59

No, it’s just news when a malfunction happens. When casinos pay out every day, on a normal machine, it’s not news.


32 posted on 12/13/2011 11:20:01 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave

Machine Bites Man.


33 posted on 12/13/2011 11:32:13 AM PST by 386wt
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To: exit82
But Obama can read Austrian.;)

True and there would be no issue if he had been the player because he would have read and understood all the casino disclaimers printed in bold Austrian at the front door.

34 posted on 12/13/2011 11:35:00 AM PST by fso301
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

I am going to side with the Casino on this one. The rules of the game state what you win for each type of roll. The roll he admits he got was a 4-match, which apparently pays out $100.

The issue is the machine mistakenly reporting what the WIN was for the 4-out-of-5 match. That’s clearly an error, and he had no expectation that he should win more than what he would have expected for his match.

If he had gotten a 5-match, and they tried to argue that the software mistakenly allowed a 5-match to come up because the mis-programmed the random number generator,then I would be on HIS side, since he would have “played the machine” and gotten the 5-match on the machine, and it’s not his fault that they couldn’t get the machine correct.


35 posted on 12/13/2011 11:36:19 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: GSWarrior

36 posted on 12/13/2011 11:39:22 AM PST by GSWarrior (Businessmen are more trustworthy than politicians, professors and preachers.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

The only way to win at the casinos is to not play.

A fool and his money....or so the saying goes...

Still, the buffets are awesome. Cheap eats, good offerings, too. I once gorged on Oysters Rockefeller and Lobster for $20..and I guarantee I ate more than Moochelle & her SS boyfriend.

Go to Vegas to people watch and eat. Other than that, you’re on your own, Jobu....


37 posted on 12/13/2011 11:47:53 AM PST by LadyBuck (In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir, gopher')
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To: Hodar
...invoke RICO statues

The casino is in AUSTRIA!

38 posted on 12/13/2011 12:17:57 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Paladin2
Stay away from electronic slot machines. Especially the ones that have a really chintzy sound of coins hitting the pan.

In 1997-98, I worked as a tech on the computers and Keno machines at Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, CT. I figured the mechanical slots should be okay. Then I saw one of them being serviced (being neither trained, nor having a service license, I did not service slot machines). Notwithstanding all of the mechanical wheels, there's computer chips innside those babies. If software errors can go undetected , so can software designed to gyp the player.

Caveat emptor.
39 posted on 12/13/2011 12:18:03 PM PST by Dr. Sivana (May Mitt Romney be the Mo Udall of 2012.)
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To: Dr. Sivana

I wonder what they can do with our voting machines?


40 posted on 12/13/2011 12:23:04 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

“We’re sorry sir, there’s obviously been a software error. No one was supposed to win!”


41 posted on 12/13/2011 12:28:16 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: freedumb2003

5 of 5 wins the big payout, 4 of 5 wins $100. Black letter law.

It doesn’t say “if the machine yells you won it means you won.”

I don’t know about the laws there but the laws here would be with the casino.
********************************************

Not so fast ... Who’s to say the “software glitch” was that the win was announced? I would argue that the software glitch was in that the wrong item was displayed and that I truly had 5 of 5 ...


42 posted on 12/13/2011 1:07:03 PM PST by Neidermeyer
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To: VeniVidiVici
Sure seems to be an awful lot of these slot machines that suffer software glitches just when a big payout come along.

"It's not a bug. It's a feature"

Programed to glitch and show a impossible jackpot whenever a genuine high payout rolls up.

43 posted on 12/13/2011 2:53:37 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (New gets old. Steampunk is always cool)
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To: Neidermeyer

>>Not so fast ... Who’s to say the “software glitch” was that the win was announced? I would argue that the software glitch was in that the wrong item was displayed and that I truly had 5 of 5 ...<<<

Then you might as well line up every single person who has used the machine since installation since the same “glitch” could incorrectly report ALL its results.

Your argument might be where they go, but it doesn’t have much of a chance. The machine showed 4 matches, the payoff is for 4 matches.


44 posted on 12/13/2011 3:09:45 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: Neidermeyer

>>Not so fast ... Who’s to say the “software glitch” was that the win was announced? I would argue that the software glitch was in that the wrong item was displayed and that I truly had 5 of 5 ...<<<

Then you might as well line up every single person who has used the machine since installation since the same “glitch” could incorrectly report ALL its results.

Your argument might be where they go, but it doesn’t have much of a chance. The machine showed 4 matches, the payoff is for 4 matches.


45 posted on 12/13/2011 3:09:45 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: Dr. Sivana

Of course. The mechanical reels just stop where the computer tells them to. The odds of certain combinations hitting are much more complicated than simply each symbol’s appearance on a wheel.

There have been malfunctions reported before where the reel stopped at the wrong space, making it look like a jackpot.

Thousands of machines making thousands of calculations and movements per day, per casino. Things will happen.


46 posted on 12/13/2011 3:12:45 PM PST by SoothingDave
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To: freedumb2003

Your argument might be where they go, but it doesn’t have much of a chance. The machine showed 4 matches, the payoff is for 4 matches.
****************************************************
I’d bet that since the odds chips installed by the manufacturer (lets just say it’s IGT) and customized by the casino (they set the win %) work off an algorythm to meet the percent win number that in the computer code in the “odds chip” what actually appears on the display is just a byproduct of a second chip that is told how many matches to display based on what the master odds chip tells it to display... I could easily get a jury to buy that the win announcement takes priority. Unless the casino took a dump of working real/virtual storage on the slot machine they have no defense...


47 posted on 12/13/2011 3:38:14 PM PST by Neidermeyer
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To: Neidermeyer

Assuming your series of “ifs” could be linked, you have no law to hang your hat on. Contract law is pretty clear — the payoff is based on matches not “intended matches.” (And I don’t buy the win happens first, then the matching item is moved into position — and you would never get that in, even in the EU, since the overall code is a big time Trade Secret).

But in court, you never know. Especially EU courts.


48 posted on 12/13/2011 4:26:01 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: SoothingDave
There have been malfunctions reported before where the reel stopped at the wrong space, making it look like a jackpot.

Payoffs should be based on where the reels stop. If the wheels stopped "at the wrong place," indicating a jackpot, it should be paid. People don't stick coins in the machine to bet on where the wheels should stop according to some computer, they bet on where the wheels do stop.

IRT the original story, the machine indicated four out of five. I side with the casino if $100 is the proper payoff for that outcome.

49 posted on 12/13/2011 4:53:50 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (To Obama, bipartisanship is giving the opposition the opportunity to do as they are told. (WGensert))
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To: al baby

I won there too.....boy that casino is really in the middle of nowhere...LOL

Unless you are driving the 10 from Phoenix to LA

;)


50 posted on 12/13/2011 5:10:28 PM PST by Irish Eyes
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