Judge sides with casino in USD 1M slot dispute

A Harrison County judge has ruled a Biloxi woman did not win the USD 1 million jackpot she claimed at the IP Casino.

The ruling this week by Circuit Judge Roger Clark overturned a Mississippi Gaming Commission decision that sided with Florida Eash in her dispute with the casino.

The IP Casino argued Eash was owed only USD 8,000 – the top winning amount showed on the machine’s sign.

The casino said a technician for International Game Technology mistakenly programmed the slot machine to be a stand-alone progressive.

The $ 5 Double Top Dollar machine notified Eash on Feb. 19, 2006, that she had won USD 1 million and sent a signal to the casino’s slot accounting system indicating a progressive jackpot was pending.

The Gaming Commission in March agreed with Eash.

Clark, in overturning that decision, said: „When a patron sits down to play a slot machine, such as the slot machine at issue, and looks at the payout schedule of that machine, the patron cannot expect the recovery of anything other than what it shows at that time on the faceplate of the machine.“

„In this case, the commission based its decision entirely on the perception of fairness,“ Clark wrote in his decision, but ignored its own precedent.

Scott Andress, a lawyer for IP Casino, said rarely do judges reverse the decision of the commission.

„I see it as the court correcting an incorrect decision,“ Andress said.

Eash can now take the USD 8,000 or appeal Clark’s decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court.