Malfunctioning slot machine doubled gamblers‘ money

Providence, Rhode Island — It was the slot machine that kept on giving — and giving.

A malfunctioning video lottery terminal at Twin River gave gamblers credit for twice as much money as they had inserted, erroneously paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of two months.

The machine, installed in May, was removed on July 15 after the problem was discovered.

Gtech, the company that supplied the machine, says it has reimbursed the state the USD 450,115 that the terminal paid out. It is also investigating whether any criminal activity occurred, whether Gtech can recoup any of the lost money and whether the problem could have been discovered earlier, said company spokesman Robert Vincent.

WJAR-TV was the first to report the malfunctioning machine. The station said a Twin River patron reported the problem, but Vincent told The Providence Journal he could not confirm that.

Twin River, located in Lincoln and formerly known as Lincoln Park, is one of two state-authorized gambling parlors in Rhode Island.

Vincent said the machine was installed on May 25, with a money-doubling feature apparently turned on accidentally. The feature allow patrons to get credit for double the amount of money they put in, with a maximum of a USD 100 credit for a USD 50 bill.

The investigation is being overseen by Steven Pare, the former superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and the current senior director of global security at Gtech’s headquarters.

The state will keep USD 274,000 of the reimbursed money, and the rest will be distributed among Gtech, Twin River and the town of Lincoln.