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Casino coupon error costing millions

It probably goes without saying that someone is going to get sued thanks to a printing mistake in Illinois which caused coupons which were supposed to be valued at $5 to be printed as valuing $525. That’s 105 times the amount the coupons for Harrah’s Casino Joliet were supposed to be, and while the casino at first refused to redeem the $525 coupons the Illinois Gaming Board ordered the casino entertainment company this week to honor all 11,000 mistakenly printed coupons. The printing mistake could cost Harrah’s up to $6 million, no meager sum when it comes to coupon redemption.

Says Illinois Gaming Board spokesman Gene O’Shea, “There were a lot of customers who went to Harrah’s Casino Joliet expecting to be paid. Needless to say, at first there were a lot of angry patrons when Harrah’s refused.” Mr. O’Shea said that the $6 million cost was an estimate, that he wasn’t sure of the total sum Harrah’s Casino Joliet would have to pay out, but that the coupon misprint is the most expensive he has seen during all of his years with the Illinois Gaming Board. Casino companies like Harrah’s can afford such mistakes, but they are embarrassing and the bad press alone may result in the company losing money.

The next time Harrah’s prints out coupons, you can be sure that they are going to double check the amounts before they release them to their customers. There was no word as to whether the printer was an in-house printer of the casino or was contracted out, but either way who- or whatever was responsible will surely end up regretting the mistake in the not-too-distant future. Many land-based casinos use coupons as a way of attracting new customers as well as keeping old ones happy. And to think, had the mistake not been made Harrah’s might not have had as many people come to the casino as they did with the misprinted coupons!

OCA News Editor