Woman Considers Lawsuit After Bally's Refuses to Pay Out On $1.27 Million Slot Win

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An elderly woman is threatening to sue Bally's Casino in Atlantic City claiming it refuses to pay her based on a software glitch. 

Roney Beal, 72, a Shamong, New Jersey resident, about 42 miles north of Atlantic City, was playing the Wheel of Fortune slot machine game on Feb. 25 when flashing lights alerted her that she had just hit the jackpot.  She won $1.27 million.

Based on the high rated game show of the same name, Wheel of Fortune ranks among the most popular slot titles both at retail casinos and the top online mobile casinos.  It has also been among the most successful slot brand of all time for 25 years now.

But Bally's is claiming - after 25 years both in casino establishments and online - that the game suffered a technical glitch.

A technical glitch?

That's correct.  Bally's is blaming the software provider, in this case International Game Technology.

“Bally’s has no comment on this incident as we’re only the casino who houses the machine,” Bally’s Vice President of Marketing and PR Diane Spiers said in an emailed statement to USA Today. “[International Game Technology] IGT handles the payouts and would be best to get a comment from at this time.”

A Millionaire Maker

IGT just announced that it has signed a ten-year licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Television that grants the Company exclusive rights to the legendary Wheel of Fortune brand.

It claims this slot alone has created 1,180 millionaires and paid out $3.5 billion in progressive jackpot wins.  IGT says its biggest single jackpot payout came in at a whopping $14.4 million.

The unbridled success of this game has resulted in new variations.  For example, There is now a three-wheeled, five-reeled Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin version.

Some other Wheel of Fortune slot variations include:

  •     Wheel of Fortune Hawaiian Getaway.
  •     Wheel of Fortune On Tour.
  •     Wheel of Fortune MEGAWAYS.
  •     Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin.
  •     Wheel of Fortune Ruby Riches.

The Wheel of Fortune Return To Player (RTP) is 96% on average, and adjustments can be made on how many coins you’d like to bet for a single payline. The minimum wager is £0.01 with a maximum of £10.


Machine Malfunction?

Beal was playing the Wheel of Fortune slot machine game on Feb. 25 when the familiar sight of flashing lights alerted her that she had just hit the jackpot.

But she quickly realized something was not right.

“When she pushed the home button, a tilt a message came up and that was the first time that there was any indication that there was a problem,” Beal’s attorney Mike Di Croce of Di Croce Law Firm told USA TODAY.

Beal told Di Croce that Bally’s employees came over and started touching the machine.

“They told her at that time that she did not win and that it was a machine malfunction,” Di Croce said. “They told her that she should spin the wheel, which she decided not to do.”

According to Beal's account, employees told eyewitnesses to stop recording what was transpiring.

Beal returned to the casino with her husband the next day to speak with Bally's management. That's when a company representative made it clear that "the machine had malfunctioned and that she had won nothing," according to Beal's account.

She and her husband were then escorted off the property after advising she would be contacting her attorney.

Di Croce said Bally’s did respond to his request for comment of the issue.

“They indicated to me that it's not their responsibility that their position is this is a progressive jackpot,” he said.

Di Croce also says that he contacted Bally's and the New Jersey Casino Control Commission to preserve the slot machine for evidence.

Having not heard from Bally's for over two months now, Di Croce believed it was now time to file a lawsuit.

It's unclear why Bally's would not just pay Beal and attempt to recoup the lost funds from IGT if, as they are claiming, there had been a machine malfunction.  Some have mocked the assertion, noting that these "malfunctions" never seem to happen when a player loses.

“IGT is cooperating with the investigation of this matter,” Vice President of Global Communications at IGT, Phil O’Shaughnessy, said in an emailed statement.


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