Vegas Slot Player Wins but Didn’t Know It

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A patron plays at the slots in a casino. Paul J. Richards/AFP

Generally speaking, slot players prefer to be left alone. They don’t like the communal action of craps nor do they want the stress of hitting or staying at a table full of seasoned blackjack players. But one thing they do want is to be notified when they hit a jackpot. Such was not the case at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. However, there is a happy ending to this story. 

Pay That Man His Money 

The slots have been hot at Treasure Island as six visitors were awarded jackpots of anywhere between $10,000 to $19,000 last month. But there was one visitor from Arizona who left the Las Vegas mainstay believing he had done no more than feed a slot machine for a little while before it was time to saddle up and move on. 

But what had actually happened was that the man unknowingly won a jackpot of nearly $230,000 but the mechanism inside the slot never alerted the man, nor the casino staff, that the jackpot had been hit. It wasn’t until a Treasure Island employee noticed the glitch in the system and notified security that a patron had legitimately won a big prize but was never notified. The man had long since left the scene before the error was discovered. 

The Nevada Gaming Board was notified and immediately took action. An exhaustive search of casino film was combed over and witnesses were interviewed about the whereabouts of the unknown slot player.  

The investigation also included assistance from the Nevada Transportation Authority and a rideshare company. Electronic receipts were studied and security footage was obtained across multiple properties in order to ascertain who the mystery man was and where they could contact him.  

We Have a Winner! 

After agents from the Nevada Gaming Board’s Enforcement Division were finished, they were able to identify Robert Taylor as the lucky winner. It was a team effort of Treasure Island security, coupled with the NGB Enforcement Division agents, as well as the cooperation from several other entities to determine who won the jackpot and how he could be contacted. 

James Taylor (no relation to the jackpot winner, Robert Taylor), chief of the board’s enforcement division, said in a news release, “The Nevada Gaming Control Board is charged with the strict regulation of the gaming industry, the protection of the gaming public, and ensuring that the industry benefits the State of Nevada. 

“I commend the agents of the Enforcement Division, particularly Agent Dan Nuqui, for ensuring that the public trust in the gaming industry remains strong by spending countless hours over two weeks to ensure that a patron is awarded winnings owed to him. 

“I’d also like to thank the Nevada Transportation Authority for their assistance in confirming the identity of the patron. This has been a great example of government working together for the benefit of the public.” 

This proved to be a happy ending for Mr. Taylor of Arizona but it makes one wonder if this has happened before but without an eagle-eyed casino employee to spot the malfunction. Are slot machines’ communications systems faultier than we suspected? It would be interesting to know how often this has occurred and if those malfunctions are peculiar to one particular slot machine company.  

Bookmakers Review  will continue to monitor this story and report any further developments as they unfold.