Prosecutor Considers Charges Against Casino Slots Winners

ELIZABETH, Ind. (AP) - Prosecutors are considering filing charges against some Caesars Indiana casino patrons who walked away with too much cash from a malfunctioning slot machine.

Harrison County prosecutors have asked the Indiana State Police for casino videotapes and other evidence from the machine that malfunctioned last July, said chief deputy prosecutor John Colin.

Caesars lost $487,000 to patrons who used the machine installed with new software that wasn't designed for U.S. currency, state police said. The machine gave gamblers $10 credit for each dollar they inserted.

A Caesars spokeswoman said some of the players returned the money after being contacted by the southern Indiana casino, but she did not know how many did or how much they returned.

The investigation was still pending partly because it has taken longer than expected to obtain casino records, Colin said. A decision on whether to bring charges could come within a couple of weeks, he said.

"This is a bit of an unusual case because you've got to go back and piece together who did what," he said.

Caesars found out about the mistake when Kathryn Ford of Louisville, Ky., noticed the slot machine had registered $200 when she put in $20. She and her husband alerted Caesars employees, but by then, more than two dozen gamblers had played the device.

Ford told The Courier-Journal of Louisville that she thought it was unfair to go after patrons. When a slot machine jams and gamblers lose money, they don't get it back, she said.

"It doesn't work in the reverse," Ford said. "They need to forget it and move on."

Colin said "criminal intent" may be involved when people played a machine they knew was faulty.
Information from: The Courier-Journal,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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