Casino reverses course, pays man disputed USD 102,000

Bensalem, Pennsylvania – A slots parlor, reversing an earlier decision, paid a man USD 102,000 on Saturday although officials say a message that flashed across a screen proclaiming him a winner was a mistake.

„Well, we contacted him (Friday) night and told him that we had finished our investigation, and that even though there clearly was an error – it was human error – we were going to make good on the USD 102,000 winning,“ said Dave Jonas, the president and chief executive officer of Philadelphia Park. He said the casino decided paying the money was the right thing to do.

Stephen Wilkinson, a retired carpenter from Feasterville, was playing the slot machine on Monday when a message board attached to it lit up and told him he had won. His name appeared in the message because he was using a casino-issued card to track his bets.

But a casino official later told him the message was a mistake and he would not get the money – but offered him two complimentary meals at the casino’s buffet instead.

Wilkinson filed a complaint with Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, which opened an investigation that is continuing. A board spokesman said the casino would be fined heavily if found to be denying a jackpot that someone had legitimately won.

„Today was a lot better,“ Wilkinson said Saturday. „They gave me the whole USD 102,000, handled it very well, and gave me eight food comps.“ Asked what he would do next, he joked that he had already been to the buffet „so I guess the next step is to go to Disneyland.“

Philadelphia Park is one of three slots parlors that have opened recently in Pennsylvania. Eight more are scheduled to open by next year.