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Slot Machine Jackpot Leads to Lawsuit

No one expects to have to deal with the law when winning a land-based or online casino jackpot. But that’s exactly what happened to Jody Montoya of La Mesilla when she won a whopping US 1.6 million dollars at the Ohkay Casino Resort and Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Upon winning the jackpot, Montoya expected the casino officials to come out and congratulate her with a check for the money; instead these officials registered a different message after they inspected the machine. Whether it is at an online casino or a brick and mortar counterpart, these types of situations happen often.

According to the casino officials, Montoya was told that the machine had malfunctioned and she had won nothing. Montoya was quick to bring the law into the matter when she hired Tim Butler, a Santa Fe lawyer, to argue her case. Butler is demanding that the Ohkay Casino pay her the winning amount in full. Although Montoya would have had a tougher time dealing with this situation if she had won at an online casino and the online casino had refused to pay, there would have been a way to settle the issue.

Stephanie Poston, a spokeswoman for the Ohkay Casino explained that the penny slot machine that Montoya played on December 9th, 2006 has a top jackpot payout of US 1,500 dollars. According to Poston, when the casino officials inspected the machine, it showed no signs of a winning combination that had been registered. Montoya is waiting until investigations by the slot machine company and the Tribal Gaming Commission are finished before deciding whether to proceed with a lawsuit, according to Butler. If this were to happen at an online casino, the online casino industry would be highlighted in the news. Because it is a regular casino, only local papers are hearing about this incident.

Whatever the result, this story is one of many that are made public among land-based casinos, and occasionally among online casino sites as well. Hopefully the law will be upheld and the party that is at fault for this entire situation will be brought to justice. In the meantime, it might be better if people stick to playing at online casinos sites.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.