Woman says Atlantic City casino refuses to pay 7-figure jackpot | Investigation

ByCheryl Mettendorf and Chad Pradelli WPVI logo
Friday, May 17, 2024
Woman says AC casino refuses to pay seven-figure jackpot
Woman says Atlantic City casino refuses to pay seven-figure jackpot | Investigation

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A South Jersey woman's win on a slot machine in Atlantic City is being called into question.

She turned to our investigative team for answers after she says the casino refused to pay the jackpot.

Bally's Casino and the gaming company, International Game Technology, are disputing the alleged seven-figure windfall and told her the win was a technical glitch.

"I was hoping for $1,000, saying, 'Please God let me win,'" recalled Roney Beal, of Shamong Twp.

Beal told us she loves playing the slots. At the end of February, she went to Bally's and dumped hundreds of dollars into a Wheel of Fortune machine.

"And it went off, says, 'you're a winner' and gold coins popped out," she said. "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!' "

The jackpot was more than $1.2 million. Beal said she also hit the multiplier.

With everyone around her celebrating, she hit the service button on the slot. Security then swarmed in.

"That's when the sentences came up 'tilted,'" she said. "When the man came over to talk to me he said, 'Lady, get it in your head, you won nothing.'"

Beal said she was told the machine had a malfunction known as a "reel tilt," which she was told voids the win.

She said after a Bally's attendant came and opened the machine, he asked her to "spin it off," but she refused.

"He had it rolling real slow. He had it opened and then he is pushing it," she added.

She said the attendant then hit different buttons inside ultimately offering her a mere $350.

"They fooled with the machine before anybody else had the opportunity to take a look at this," said attorney Mike Dicroce, who represents Beal.

He said that action by a casino attendant may have tampered with evidence of the win.

He has now asked the New Jersey Gaming Enforcement, Bally's and IGT, the responsible party for the payout, to preserve the machine and casino floor videos for an independent forensic review.

"You invite somebody to your business. They pay the money, they win, you're supposed to pay. That didn't happen," he added.

And it turns out, this isn't the first case where a reel tilt has been disputed on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine.

Jacques Bezou took Harrah Casino in New Orleans and IGT to court in 2000 after his client disputed the same slot malfunction.

"IGT took the position that look even though aesthetically these symbols came up it wasn't a win because the computer says it wasn't a win," he said.

Bezou said a jury didn't agree nor did an appellate judge. After years in legal limbo, IGT was ultimately responsible for the $1.3 million jackpot.

Beal is hoping the law and some luck will help her cash in on what she believes is hers.

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

Bally's Casino had no comment and said it only houses the machine and referred us to IGT. Multiple attempts to reach IGT for comment have gone unanswered.