Old lady denied massive payout after casino glitch


I hope she got her $1.85.


The house always wins; cases where the customer seems to win should be classified as a glitch, because the house always wins.


She should take this to the court of common opinion. Who cares what the pointy-headed experts said? It’s rich mobster casino vs. sweet great grandmother. She probably can’t extort $42m, but even a small fraction is worth a lot of noise.


that’s a huuge glitch

I had a malfunction that said I didn’t win anything.


In that case your actual winnings were nullified since a glitch was present.

This reminds me of the mistakenly printed lottery tickets saying you are a winner. All that really matters is what the ticket “should have said” according to the barcode. lottery games don’t have to honor anything the display says, only what they say is legitimate. Lame.

Actually, it’s rich Native American casino vs. sweet great grandmother. The lobbying/influence power is much stronger.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will administer the laws and rules on pari-mutuel wagering at racetracks and gambling at excursion gambling boats/racetrack enclosures/gambling structures to protect the public and to assure the integrity of licensed facilities and participants.

Fuck you, IRGC.

Fuck you, IGA.

All this talk of rules…
Rule 34 suggests that there should be “MALFUNCTION VOIDS ALL PAYS AND PLAYS.” porn – would this be the classic prostitute with a heart of gold trope?

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I think this would be the classic “video poker repairman with a surprising coil of cable” trope


Watching that video of the slot machine in action, I am left thinking only two things.

  1. Ye gods. that’s a garishly ugly design. Like a massively over saturated bejewelled clone.
  2. I have no idea what is going on there.

Casinos need to have properly functioning machines. If one screws up then they should be required to pay the player at least some sort of prize like $1,000 or so. The award would be void if the player was responsible for the malfunction. It would give them some incentive to make sure their machines operate correctly all the time.


On the Arstechnica thread about this story, user “IndomitableRaddish” posted the below explanation; which appears quite plausible:

Created an account just to post this. Having formerly programmed casino games I’ve seen this bug many times before:

me this doesn’t look like some “glitch” in the machine but rather an
oversight by Aristocrat’s programmers. Most casino games have a bonus
round obtained from the right combination of symbols. So at the end of
the bonus round the player will receive a “Regular Win” and a “Bonus
Win”. Sometimes the regular win is subtracted or not counted in the
bonus win, sometimes it is counted. Can’t remember what Miss Kitty’s
rules are exactly but let’s say that in this case the regular win is
subtracted from the Bonus win. So the programmer will subtract =>
bonusWin - regularWIn = totalWin

Ok, now lets assume that granny
had a really terrible bonus round, like she only won $5 when she had a
regular win of $10. Ok, so the grand total will be $5.00 - $10.00 =

But why didn’t the “Total Win” display a negative
number? Well, it’s simply because many casino game developers use
Unsigned 32 bit integers in win amounts. Basically unsigned integers
cannot have negative numbers. So when you subtract one larger unsigned
integer from a smaller one instead of resulting in a negative number the
result will wrap around to its largest possible value. In the case of
unsigned Integers that’s => 4,294,967,295 with two decimal places
added it for the cent amounts it comes to $42,949,672.94!

still doesn’t explain exactly why the win was a bit below $42 million.
My guess is that its smaller because of the programming language used
and the processor word size. Max integer size varies from language to
language but it for an unsigned 32bit integer its usually around that

(I’d link directly; but I’m not certain how to do that for Ars comment threads, sorry noble Raddish.)

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I suspect that you’d be looking at fraud charges(or, in gaming-friendly states, some more specific gambling-related charges and/or Vinnie and Guido’s kneecap treatment) if you were the cause of the glitch; but I was honestly rather surprised to see this outcome.

Even if not as a matter of law, the max payout on this particular machine (a low-price-per-play slot machine) was something like $10k. It probably cost more than that to litigate this case. Maybe I’m just a softie; but my inclination, were I ‘the house’, would have been to show grandma the payout table for the game(which would indicate that 40-odd million was never a possibility), tell her that our machine screwed up, so it’s on us, and hopefully avoided all litigation and any bad press for $10k and maybe a few comped nights at the hotel, if applicable, and some drinks. Maybe even get a feel-good ‘those wacky computers; customer still wins!’ story or two out of it.

There are just some battles where all victories are Pyrrhic; and this seems like one of them. If the customer had been unwilling to accept the above offer, I would be inclined to go to court rather than pay her 40 million; but it is very possible that a payout markedly cheaper than a trial, plus a little politeness, could have made the problem go away amicably.


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