07-20-2007, 06:33 PM #1
Is winning on faulty slot machine crime?
ELIZABETH, Ind. - Prosecutors are considering criminal charges against casino gamblers who won big on a slot machine that had been installed with faulty software.
The machine at Caesars Indiana credited gamblers $10 for each dollar they inserted because the software wasn't designed for U.S. currency, state police said. More than two dozen people played the machine before one gambler alerted Caesars employees.
Caesars lost $487,000 on the machine during that time, state police said.
A decision on whether to bring criminal charges could come in a couple of weeks, said John Colin, chief deputy prosecutor for Harrison County. He said "criminal intent" may be involved when people play a machine they know is faulty.
The casino said some of the gamblers returned the money after the casino contacted them.
"This is a bit of an unusual case because you've got to go back and piece together who did what," Colin said. The prosecutor's office declined to say Thursday what criminal charges could be brought.
The incident occurred last July, but he said obtaining casino records took longer than expected.
Kathryn Ford of Louisville, Ky., the gambler who alerted the casino, said going after the other patrons was unfair.
When a slot machine jams and gamblers lose money, they don't get it back, she said.
"It doesn't work in the reverse," Ford said. "They need to forget it and move on."
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