In response to the lawsuit, the casino says it's sorry for Bookman's troubles, but is doubling down on the malfunction excuse, according to Ars Technica. "Machine malfunctions are rare, and we would like to extend our apologies to Ms. Bookman for any inconvenience this may have caused," the company said in a statement. The New York State Gaming Commission is defending the casino, declaring it was "clearly a display malfunction" and that the max payout for that Sphinx slot machine was programmed for just $6,500 (the machine was fixed and running normally the next day).
This isn't the first time a casino's been taken to court for refusing to pay out a giant slot machine jackpot. In 2015, an Iowa woman thought she had won $42 million on the Miss Kitty machine she was playing on, but the casino insisted it was caused by a glitch. The court sided with the casino, and denied the payout, based on the premise that a glitch is a glitch no matter who it benefits or affects, and should be treated as such. As the judge in the case said at the time, "Consider the other side of the coin. Suppose the symbols had aligned so that [the plaintiff] was entitled to a payout under the rules of the game, but the machine did not inform her of a payout. Would the casino have been obligated to compensate her despite the absence of a notification that she had won? We think so."
Let this be a lesson that table games are always the better option.
h/t BBC News and Courthouse News