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Casino says R42.9mill win was a malfunction ( Sunday Times Article 5 March 2006 )

A DURBAN attorney’s joy at a R42.9-million casino win quickly turned sour when she was told she would not be paid out because the machine had malfunctioned.

Incensed Chatsworth attorney Jayshree Asalan told the Sunday Times that she would be suing Sun Coast Casino and Entertainment World for the millions she believes are due to her.

“I was very excited but now I’m extremely traumatised about the matter, and I will be taking it up with the high court. The casino should not get away with this,” said Asalan.

But casino management said a sticker on the side of every slot machine would exempt them from making the payout.

“There is no chance she will ever get that amount of money because the largest winning on a slot machine on the casino floor is R1-million,” said casino marketing manager Robbie Naidoo. “In terms of the Gambling Board’s legislation, whatever happens at the point of a machine malfunction, we are not liable to pay out.”

Ken Ladbrooke, acting CEO of the gambling board in KwaZulu-Natal, confirmed that in all probability the win was a malfunction and said it would be verified by the board’s inspectors on Monday.

“I have never in my involvement in gaming known of any machine that could pay that amount.”

But Asalan said this was not acceptable as the sticker was “barely visible” and the machine had not indicated a malfunction.

“The machine cannot malfunction if it can take my money. When it’s time to pay out it was suddenly malfunctioning. The [casino staff] almost laughed it off,” she said.

Naidoo likened the malfunction to an ATM printing the wrong account balance. “If your statement says you have R42-million, it does not mean the money is yours.”

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