It happens all over the world and especially in places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. People head to their local casinos with dreams that they’ll walk out of their a million times richer. It rarely ever happens. Usually, one leaves with a considerable less amount then what they had when they walked in. This almost wasn’t the story for Veronica Castillo. She walked into that casino and something amazing and heartbreaking happened to here.
This is the story that will speak to anyone who has ever dreamed of a better life. If you want to be inspired, this is definitely the story to read.
Looking For Luck
Getting rich quick is a gamble that usually doesn’t pay off, but sometimes it does. Oregon native Veronica Castillo ventured to the Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington to spend some quality time with her mother.
She would have never guessed that she would soon be making national headlines. While she knew that she would likely not being home with millions to her name, there was a part of her that was praying for magic. Little did she know, she’d get a quick sample of that magic.
Her Lucky Roll
Veronica is a pretty bright woman. The 42-year-old is a loans officer and knows her way around numbers. She scanned the room and though about her best options. She was savvy to investing and the risk that came with them. That said, she decided to go to the slot machines.
One can’t be skilled at the slots. First time players and senior players have the exact same chances. Everyone has an equal chance at millions when it comes to slot machines. Veronica sat down at the slot and worked out a strategy in her mind despite the odds.
Veronica decided that instead of hopping from machine to machine like most people do, she would stay at the same one for a set amount of time. Her chosen machine was a dinosaur themed one called Jurassic Riches. Strategies when it comes to gambling is nothing new for your average gambler
Veronica steadily kept the nickels coming and spent a good amount of time trying to get the Jurassic Park themed icons to match. With every play, she felt closer to the millions. She promised herself that she would use only one hundred dollars in nickels.
Her Big Win
The icons all lined up perfectly. The machine started ringing wildly and dollar signs flashed across the screen. It began calculating the sum of money that she had won. She spent less than $100 in nickels and now it looked like she was going to go home with a lot more.
Veronica didn’t just win, she hit the jackpot and according to her machine was going to go home with $8.5 million. Like most people, she pulled out her camera and took a picture of the machine’s display. Things weren’t quite as amazing as they seemed.
Minutes Of Celebration
She said during an interview, “I was excited; I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock.” Like anyone in her position, Veronica began dreaming about everything she could do with that money. She could quit her job, buy a new house and travel the world.
As you can imagine the Casino’s manager approached her, but they weren’t smiling or congratulating her. In fact, the casino staff looked a little heartbroken. It was at that moment that they informed of something that completely ruined her night.
The casino manager informed her that she wouldn’t be going home with millions. All of her dreams and excitement immediately hit the floor. Very calmly they explained to Veronica that the machine had malfunctioned and made a huge error.
Her dreams had all be excused on part of a machines technical glitch. She didn’t get herself together as they explained in detail, she just began more glum. She felt free from all of her responsibilities for just one second and now it was over.
Veronica had spent nickel after nickel of her own money and even bought drinks and that was perfectly fine with the casino. She bitterly stated during an interview, ““They took my money but didn’t want to pay my winnings,”
The whole night was going by like a good dream gone bad and Veronica couldn’t process what was going on. She couldn’t simply stand her ground, there was a stipulation when it came to those kinds of casino games. This made her feel even more hopeless.
Advisory Disclaimer Sticker
It just wasn’t something that she could fight. Anyone who fancies themselves a gambler knows that each machine has an advisory disclaimer sticker that a machine malfunction will make any and all payments void. This give casino’s the right to refuse payment.
The Lucky Eagle casino staff didn’t waste any time in cleaning up the scene. As they told her that they weren’t going to pay her the $8.5 million dollars, they had other staff members unplug the machine and haul it off the floor.
On Behalf Of The Casino
One would think that they get something from the casino for such a mix-up. Veronica got something, but it wasn’t much at all. They gave her a cash ticket for a mere $80.35. Looking at the little cash ticket, she almost felt insulted.
How honest was the casino? Despite their disclaimer sticker, how sure could they be that the machine actually malfunctioned? Veronica felt cheated by them. She wasn’t the only one who walked away questioning the casino’s honesty.
Investigators On The Scene
As you can imagine, the happens of that night hit the press and everyone was reading about the girl who was denied her winnings at the hands a machine malfunction. KOIN 6’s correspondent Lisa Balick talked to the casino’s management as well as Veronica.
Lisa’s digging paid off massively. She went past the casino’s management and actually managed to contact the casino’s CEO John Setterstrom. He ended up tell her something that would give her more insight into the case and make her more curious.
Setterstrom went on to say that he was just as shocked as Veronica. He was running his own private investigation. He wanted to get to the bottom of why the machine did what it did. He was even going to talk to the manufacturers of the machine.
The Daily Mail released a statement by the casino that reference Veronica’s case. They stated that Rocket Gaming Systems, the company responsible for Jurassic Riches was launching their own investigation and that the casino wasn’t making excuse not to pay Veronica.
The statement read as follows, “Rocket has not yet been able to determine how the error occurred although it is absolutely clear that the gaming machine played by Ms. Castillo experienced a display malfunction,”
The Machine’s Capabilities
They further went onto state that the machine shouldn’t even be capable of reaching the numbers. Apparently, the machine is made to only go up to $20,000 at best. At this point, Veronica was feeling like the whole world was playing her for a fool.
The Casino remarked that with the amount of money Veronica was using she could have won $6,000 as best. The further said that the machine had a, “temporarily experienced an incorrect credit display while the machine began its process of metering down after the display malfunction.”
An Additional Offer
The casino felt bad about getting Veronica’s hopes up so they offered her an additional gift. While it isn’t exactly the money she thought she won. They offered her a free weekend in one of their top hotel suites with all the dining and gambling included for free.
Despite their kind offer, Veronica still wasn’t satisfied with the way things turned out and was not even sure if she wanted their gift. She was ready to fight for the justice she believed she deserved. She was already writing blog post on social media, but she was going to take things a step further.
She wasn’t going to take their gift and let bygones be bygones. One doesn’t simply play with another person’s emotions like they did and walk away. She stated for the media, “To me, it’s cheating, may even be fraudulent.”
Pointing a finger at a casino and saying their cheaters isn’t something that anyone is going to take lightly. Perhaps it was her job as a loans manager, perhaps she was just naturally tough. That said, she was going to fight them till the end.
Let’s Go To Court
“If it needs to go to trial, then we’ll go to trial,” Veronica told her local media outlet. Legal action was something she started considering. This went far beyond just getting some cash for herself. This was for the safety of everyone.
She told KOIN 6 News, “My first thought was, how many people has this happened to? They think they won, then going away empty-handed.” Even if she didn’t win, she felt it was her duty to spread the news about how casinos were playing the people.
It’s Happened Before
While they did the right thing by sending the machine back to the manufacturers, The Washington State Commission came forward with a very surprising statement. Their spokesperson Susan Newer came forward and said that Jurassic Riches was not regulated by her agency.
A machine malfunction went right in line with what Susan further stated. She said that the machine was reported to be acting in a very strange way. Little did anyone know, this machine has a bad history of shattering dreams.
Regulating The Machines
The casino’s in the United States are regulated on a nationwide scale, but things get more intense in Washington state. They actually have a casino lab that carries out regular inspections on all the machines in the state.
Heather Songer of the Washington State Gambling Commission stated the following, “Nationwide, it’s extremely rare to see a major machine malfunction, so consumers should feel confident that when they are sitting down at a gaming machine, it’s going to function properly.”
The Faults of Technology
In the end, technology is to blame for the situations that these women found themselves in. Most malfunctions can be attributed to improper tampering, coin jams, empty hoppers, switch failures, computer chip failure, power outages and accidental contact.
While nobody usually associates old technology as superior, slot technology might be an exception. The slots of the 1960s used to have spinning drums that would make malfunctions pretty much impossible. In essence, they were more reliable.
Keep In Mind
At the end of the day, a machine malfunction is extremely rare and there is a very low chance that a casino will deny paying you if you score a jackpot. While the women in question have experienced something awful, their cases aren’t that common.
If you find yourself in La Vegas and something similar happens to you, you can always contact the Nevada Gaming Commission. They will immediately go to the casino and check out the games play history and determine if it really was a malfunction.
Watching The Winners
Anyone who knows anything about casinos knows that the machines are always in favor of the house and not the player. That said, measures are taken by many associations that assure that neither the casinos or the players are doing anything shady.
The casinos always have a security team at work who are looking for any cheaters amongst the masses. They are especially looking at the big winners. They aren’t about to let anyone rip off anyone. This should always assure the fair players.
Money Made By Industry
Reuters looked over the statistics and came to the conclusion that the commercial gaming industry raked in more than $40 billion in 2017 alone. gambling doesn’t only come with it financial risk, but it is also extremely addictive.
Advice From Warren Buffet
Investors don’t come any better than Warren Buffet. Investing has been this man’s passion throughout his whole life. When it comes to gambling and going to casinos, this financial genius has some very powerful advice.
He said the following, “Successful investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”
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