May 20, 2024 4 min read


NJ Casino Claims Glitch to Deny $2M Jackpot to 72-Year-Old Winner

Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City has denied a $2 million jackpot to a 72-year-old winner, claiming a glitch in the casino’s system

Hitting a million-dollar casino jackpot can trigger a carousel of emotions at any age. However, for a 72-year-old retired school teacher in Shamong, New Jersey, the initial burst of happiness when she realized she had won more than $2 million came to an abrupt end. 

Her initial shock and “dream come true” feeling was soon washed away, leaving room for a nightmare as she was informed by casino officials her winnings would be denied because of an alleged glitch in the system.

Shocking Experience for the Senior Player

R.B., who spoke to 6ABC Action News to share her story, described herself as a fervent fan and frequent player of slot machines. 

She explained that, at the end of February, she went to Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City and spent hundreds of dollars on a Wheel of Fortune machine.

“I was hoping for $1,000, saying, Please God let me win,” she recalled, followed by the memory of the machine going off, saying “You’re a winner” and seeing the gold coins popping out. 

The woman also recalled “this very nice guy” saying “Oh my God, you hit, you hit! Lady, you’re a millionaire,” adding even more to her original excitement. She allegedly won a jackpot of $1.2 million. The senior also claimed that she hit the multiplier.

While everyone around her continued to celebrate, claimed R.B., she eventually hit the service button on the slot machine and saw the security crew swarming in.

“That’s when the sentences came up ’tilted,” she remembered. The former school teacher said that she was told that she had won “nothing” and that the respective slot machine was dealing with a malfunction referred to as a “reel tilt.” 

She was explained the said malfunction or glitch in the system would void her win.

R.B. also recalled that a Bally’s attendant opened the machine and asked her to “spin it off” which she refused to do.

“He had it rolling real slow. He had it opened and then he is pushing it” only to offer her a $350 win in the end.

R.B.’s attorney, Mike Dicroce, claimed Bally’s attendants “fooled with the machine before anybody else had the opportunity to take a look at this.” Dicroce added that that respective action by a casino attendant could have tampered with evidence of his client’s jackpot win.

Accordingly, he required the New Jersey Gaming Enforcement, Bally’s, and slotmaker International Game Technology (IGT), which is the responsible party for the payout, to hold on to the machine and the video footage from the casino floor for an independent forensic review.

Not the First Occurrence of Its Kind

Apparently, this is not the first time that the reel tilt glitch was disputed on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine.

In 2000, attorney Jacques Bezou took New Orleans‘ Harrah Casino and IGT to court after his client disputed the same glitch.

Bezou explained IGT’s position that claimed that despite the fact that the symbols came up “aesthetically,” the outcome wasn’t considered a win for his client “because the computer says it wasn’t a win.”

Neither the jury nor the appellate judges agreed to IGT’s claim. At the end of a lengthy legal limbo that lasted several years, IGT was held responsible for the $1.3 million jackpot.

R.B. is hopeful that the law and an ounce of luck would also help her cash in on what she thinks is rightfully hers.

Besides the $1.28 million jackpot and multiplier that would raise her win to $2.56 million, she also plans on filing a distress claim for over $1 million.

She explained she was anxious and “upset” because she wanted the money so she could buy a trailer for her homeless son. 

“Why would I ever go to a casino again in my life? Any casino? Why, if there is no hope,” she added.

In April 2021, a 54-year-old online casino player from Lincolnshire received his winnings from Betfred after following London’s High Court decision in his favor. 

He was finally denied the win by the operator who claimed a software error had occurred. 

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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