Could A Casino Have Refused to Pay My Jackpot?

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Today we’re going to look at a couple of questions that work around refusal to pay. Occasionally a news item pops up where a jackpot wasn’t paid out or wasn’t paid to the person whose money was in the machine, so let’s dive into these thornier questions.

My husband and I normally take turns hitting the spin button but use only my players card. We were playing at a machine where the slot accepting the players card was not working when we hit a $5000 jackpot.

No card was in the machine but we were both sitting in front of it as we normally do. When the attendant came for the payment they knew that it was my husband who hit the button when the jackpot hit, I assumed by reviewing the video from overhead cameras.

If my players card had been in the machine when he hit the jackpot could the casino have refused to pay it?

Laura M.

No, normally something like that won’t be a big deal, because there’s also occasions where previous players accidentally leave their card behind and so forth. Regardless of whose card is in the machine, they still ask for your personal information, and will still do all the paperwork based on that, not whose card is in the machine.

Many casinos have a policy that the person who pushes the button makes the wager, and that person is therefore liable for the jackpot. So presuming they know who pushed the button like they did in this case, they’ll also know who to ask for information to fill out paperwork, regardless of whose card is in the machine.

That said, there are casinos that have a policy about not playing with another player’s card. We have another question coming up that will explore those aspects.

How do you feel about someone winning a big jackpot and the casino not paying because they say it was a machine “ERROR”. Thanks, love you guys!


Usually when such an occurrence takes place, multiple parties are involved – the casino, the gaming commission, and even the slot manufacturer. Brian had a slot machine crash on him so hard that every time they tried to bring it back up, it crashed again. And it happened just as he triggered a bonus.

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The casino ultimately gave Brian a cash payout since they were not able to get the machine back up and running to play through the bonus. They were also able to verify how much money was in the machine at the time.

There’s a lot of hoops casinos jump through when such a malfunction occurs to confirm it’s a malfunction, and so we don’t have too many concerns about it – human-made computer software will have issues, and as long as those issues are handled as fairly as they can be, that’s about all we can ask for.

Casinos put stickers on machines that say malfunctions void all pays, but they really hope they don’t have to rely on that as it’s no more fun a scenario for them as it is for us.

Have a question? Submit yours here!

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