The Indiana Gaming Commission is receiving numerous inquiries from gamers across the US and Canada regarding headlines made at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City. A woman sat down to play one of the penny slots, and the machine flashed that she had won the $28.8 million jackpot.
But Jennifer Carmin, the lucky player who won the China Shores penny slots, was never provided the money awarded on the machine. Casino employees saw the jackpot flash on the machine, and immediately called for supervisors to close down the game. Carmin was ordered to step away from the machine, and was told a technical glitch flashed the jackpot on the screen.
When Carmin asked about the confusion, she was told casino executives would need to speak with the Indiana Gaming Commission. Rather than the $28.8 million prize, the casino offered Carmin two steak dinners for her and her boyfriend – something that made her seek her own answers from the Gaming Commission.
“I don’t even like steak. I tried to explain that to them, they thought that was funny. I said I don’t think that’s funny. I’m pretty shaken up by this situation.”
The case was brought to the attention of several casino law groups, as well as private gaming legal experts. But many experts believe Carmin is unlikely to acquire the money by appealing to the Gaming Commission.
Cory Aronovitz, who teaches casino law in Chicago, believes the casino’s explanation that the number on the screen was a “current balance of promotional credits” rather than an actual jackpot is valid. He also says disclaimers posted onto slot machines state that jackpots can be made void if there are technical errors.
“I think after the emotion subsides, most reasonable people would say ‘Yeah, that doesn’t make sense. I was wagering 50 cents and it said $28 million, and there was nothing on the sign that said I had an opportunity to win that.’ Clearly it was an error.”
Carmin insists she will continue fighting the appeal as she claims there was no disclaimer on the slot at the time she won the jackpot.