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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  • by gail Location: winchester on Jul 23, 2007 at 09:11 AM
    I totally agree with all the others.. leave them alone... the casino should have made sure that the machine was operating correctly before placing it out there for the patrons. And Scott I agree the only thing wrong in this situation is I wasn't there either!
  • by John Location: Lexington on Jul 23, 2007 at 06:55 AM
    How can you prosecute someone for putting money in a machine that is not functioning properly and then blame them for ripping you off? Check with the software people, evidently they sent you a different countries machine and they should be at fault not the innocent gamblers that got a little lucky from the casino's error!
  • by Scott Location: Lexington on Jul 22, 2007 at 08:48 AM
    Get over it Caesars! $487,000 is pocket change for a casino. The only thing wrong with this situation is that I WASNT THERE! :)
  • by Mary Location: Kentucky on Jul 21, 2007 at 09:58 PM
    Faulty software in a machine should have been "caught" by the software manufacturer AND the casino. Testing any product before it hits the comman "man" is pretty standard business practice. Someone dropped the ball. To blame the players . . .very poor sportsmanship. Take your losses, suck it up and move on!
  • by Tina Location: Simpsonville on Jul 21, 2007 at 05:51 AM
    The casino will have to eat this one. They have no second thoughts when they fix the machines so they won't pay off, especially video poker, and how they have ripped the public off, shame on them. They must be in a world of hurt, as much money as they make, this is a drop in the bucket for them. Maybe the public will wake up and quit going there
  • by john Location: winchester on Jul 20, 2007 at 11:38 AM
    Gambling is gambling. loosing is a big part of the game. If the casino looses in a machine, isn't that still part of the game? To charge the person(s) responsible for installing the software, if done malicously, OK, but not the patrons. They won! They bet money and WON! What is a properly operating slot machine? One where the casino wins all the time??????
  • by Casey Location: Lexington on Jul 20, 2007 at 11:23 AM
    These people should not have to pay any of that money back. How many people get ripped off at casinos every day and they never get any of their money back.
  • by William Location: Around the corner on Jul 20, 2007 at 10:02 AM
    Sounds like these prosecutors are on the payroll of the casino and they should be investigated.
  • by LuLu Location: anywhereiwannabe on Jul 20, 2007 at 05:23 AM
    This Is Just CRAZY!!! These People Are Innocent!!! Take Your Lose And Stop Your Whining And Move On And Do Your Job As In "Check The Software Of Your Slot Machines!" Go After The Company That Installed The Software... Not Innocent Patrons!!! I Hope The Ones I Think Legally WON On your Slot Machine Is Out Havin FUN FUN FUN!
  • by Voice of Reason Location: Lexington on Jul 20, 2007 at 03:53 AM
    The question should also be asked; if the machines DID NOT pay off at the scheduled intervals, would the casino call the people who were supposed to win but didn't and give them their winnings? One hundred percent NO! It's a gamble the casino took. NO charges should be filed but the people who brought it to their attention should be applauded for being honest. Casinos are there to make money and believe me, the machines pay off as little as possible to keep the profits coming in. If it weren't profitable, do you think they would be in business? The only problem is, prosecutors and lawmakers know how much money casinos bring to their state and my guess is, they will do what they can to appease the casinos.
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