February 02, 2007

The Thrill of Victory

At the OCC staff meeting this morning, someone suggested that it might be nice on this Friday to take a brief diversion from sports and talk about another topic.

That individual was promptly fired.

However, we did take his suggestion into consideration (because frankly it was an excellent idea), and thusly we will seamlessly foray into a brief diversion on the topic of gambling. Specifically, slot machines. More specifically, something rather dubious that happened to a woman at an Oklahoma casino recently. And getting most specific, the fact that said woman was told by a video slot machine that she had won 1.3 million dollars, only to have the manager of said casino tell her that it was a malfunction.

I suppose from the casino’s vantage point you could make the case that this was a “malfunction” in the sense that they didn’t want it to happen (as is the case with all malfunctions), but other than that, this seems highly questionable.

I don’t know how they do things in Oklahoma, but where I come from, when you pull the lever on a slot machine and it says you win money, you get that money.

It’s almost as if the casino, like some pre-pubescent child in a game of freeze tag or tetherball, is trying to call for a do-over. Which is of course completely absurd.

Do they walk over to the blackjack tables when you get a 21 and tell you that your ace card was the result of a malfunctioning deck? No.

Does the pit boss walk up to the craps table after you've rolled seven 9's in a row, reaping untold fortunes for you and your friends, only to tell you that your wins are nullified because the dice are loaded? No. (Although in this case, the joke's on them, because your dice actually are loaded. You sneaky bastard.)

This is kind of like offering a friend one of your possessions that you don’t want anymore, and then when you see how much they like it, immediately demanding it back just to be a dick.

It’s like opening a soup kitchen to donate meals to the homeless, but when the homeless arrive to collect their meals, you say that they can’t have them.

In short, it’s just flat-out wrong. You know the saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas?” There’s also one that goes, “Whatever the slot machine says you won, the casino has to pay you.”

(And yes, I’m sure that there are all kinds of legal stipulations covering the casino’s ass on this one, but at some point you have to throw legal stipulations out the window and say, “Pay the money you owe, you dishonest pricks.”)

As bad as it is for someone to think they’ve won 1.3 million dollars and then be told they haven’t won a thing, you know what’s worse? When the institution that owes said person that money tries to compensate her with two complimentary buffet tickets.

Yes, this actually happened.

If you’ll permit one more soup kitchen-related analogy, that’s like opening up a soup kitchen to provide meals for the homeless, and when they come to get their meals, saying to them, “No, you actually can’t have a meal, but you can have this poop.” (Although the analogy gets a little bit tricky because in the case of the casino, food actually was being offered in the form of buffet tickets, but the analogy works because in comparison to 1.3 million dollars, buffet tickets are technically poop. It’s in the bylaws.)

It should be noted that the casino subsequently offered the violated patron (whose name is Diana Smith) a sum of $6,500 in a feeble attempt to placate her.

In case you’re wondering, we did the math to figure out the exact percentage of what $6,500 is in relation to $1.3 million, and we figured out that it comes out to… a very small percentage.

In sum:

1) Boo, casino.

2) Don’t tease the homeless.

3) To the aforementioned Ms. Smith: If you’re interested in suing these bastards to try to recoup some or all of your money, we happen to know an excellent attorney who specializes in this type of thing.

There will, of course, be a finder’s fee.

Shall we say, $6,500?


Anonymous Diana Smith said...

Hi, I am Diana Smith and I was the one that got the poop. I am glad that someone sees it my way! I am so sick of these casinos crying malfuncion just because they do not have the money to pay. also i still have not received the copy of the report showing malfunction. If you want to talk email me at Diana.Smith@wnco.com Thanks for thinking of me!

4:29 PM, February 11, 2007  

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