Last summer, we suggested a new business model for casinos, after hearing the story of one casino blaming a software glitch in order to not pay out a jackpot a player had supposedly won. In that case, the guy was supposedly hiring a lawyer, but we haven't heard an update. However, it appears that others are picking up on the trick. A new casino in Pennsylvania had a slot machine tell a player that he had won $102,000, supposedly "the big jackpot" of the day. Various casino staff came up and congratulated him, until someone else came over and offered him two free meal coupons, saying that the jackpot message (which even stated his name) was a software glitch on their internal computer system, and was due to some internal testing that never should have reached the actual machine. Specifically, they claim it was "a communications error." The article does note that the slot machines have a disclaimer that the casino is not liable for machine malfunctions, but there are questions about whether or not that covers this situation, since it wasn't technically the slot machine that malfunctioned, but the casino's computer system. Either way, it seems pretty sleazy, and probably isn't particularly good publicity for a new casino trying to drum up business. Update: Apparently the casino has changed its mind, recognizing the bad publicity the original story caused. The casino claims that their investigation turned up that the error was a human error, not a machine glitch, and therefore they paid up.
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