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Investigation Reveals Dispute Over $1.2 Million Jackpot at Bally

Roney Beal claims she won a $1.2 million jackpot at Bally's casino, only to have it voided due to a 'reel tilt' error. Her attorney is seeking an independent investigation, raising questions about slot machine transparency and fairness in casinos.
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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: May 22, 2024

New Jersey Drama

In a recent Action News Investigation by 6ABC, gambler Roney Beal recounted a stunning sequence of events that transpired at Bally's casino in Atlantic City. At the end of February, Beal claimed she deposited hundreds of dollars into a Wheel of Fortune slot machine, only to experience what many gamblers dream of – hitting a $1.2 million jackpot with a 2x multiplier.

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Describing the moment of her apparent win, Beal told 6ABC, “And it went off, says, ‘you're a winner,' and gold coins popped out. This very nice guy says, ‘Oh my God, you hit, you hit!' He said, ‘Lady, you're a millionaire.' And I'm like, ‘Oh my God!'” However, the elation quickly turned to confusion and frustration when Beal pressed the ‘service' button, only for the machine to display a “tilt” message.

 

Key Movements

  1. Jackpot Dispute: Roney Beal claimed she hit a $1.2 million jackpot at Bally's casino, but the casino voided the win due to a ‘reel tilt' error, offering her only $350 instead.
  2. Investigation and Legal Action: Beal's attorney, Mike Dicroce, is seeking an independent forensic review and has contacted the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, citing concerns over potential tampering with the slot machine before an official investigation.
  3. Broader Implications: The incident raises questions about the transparency and reliability of slot machines, echoing a similar case from 2000 where a jury ruled in favor of the gambler despite the casino's claims of a technical error.

 

Beal recounted that a slot attendant dismissed her win, stating, “Lady, get it in your head, you won nothing.” According to Beal, the casino informed her that the machine had a ‘reel tilt,' which they argued voided her win. Beal insisted that the slot attendant asked her to “spin it off,” but she refused. She described the attendant manipulating the machine, saying, “He had it rolling real slow. He had it opened and then he is pushing it.”

Adding to her disbelief, the casino reportedly offered Beal $350 as compensation for the incident. Her attorney, Mike Dicroce, expressed outrage, claiming the casino tampered with the machine before a proper investigation could be conducted. “They fooled with the machine before anybody else had the opportunity to take a look at this,” Dicroce said.

Dicroce has taken steps to escalate the matter, approaching the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for a thorough review. He has requested the preservation of the machine and surveillance footage for an independent forensic examination. Drawing parallels to a similar case from 2000, where a jury ruled that IGT had to pay a $1.3 million jackpot despite the company's claims that the win was invalid due to a technical issue, Dicroce remains hopeful for a favorable outcome for Beal.

Beal expressed her disillusionment with the gambling industry, questioning the fairness of the system. “Why would I ever go to a casino again in my life? Any casino? Why, if there is no hope,” she lamented.

As the investigation continues, the incident at Bally's has sparked a broader discussion about the transparency and reliability of slot machines in casinos. Players and industry watchers alike will be paying close attention to the developments in Beal's case, which could potentially set a precedent for future disputes involving alleged technical malfunctions and jackpot payouts.

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