Slot player wins jackpot but gets nothing

Now here is an interesting story about an unfortunate and a fortunate player in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. If someone pushes a button on a casino slot machine, while another person provided the money, and it hits big, who gets the jackpot?

Jan Flato, a veteran slot player and former Las Vegas resident, had put his money into the Double Top Dollar slot machine, which goes for $50 a spin for a chance at the $100,000 jackpot. Flato told Marina Medvedeva Navarro, 35, who had played slots with Flato frequently, to push the button on the machine for good luck. This definitely helped because the woman’s spin netted the $100,000 jackpot. Of course Flato was ecstatic, believing the money belonged to him. but despite paying for the spin, the casino policy states the person who pushes the button on a slot machine is entitled to any money won. In this case Navarro was awarded the jackpot after a review of the casino’s security footage.

Navarro, who claims she had also put money in the machine, offered Flato a piece of the jackpot pie and she left the casino with a check of $50,000 and another $50,000 in cash.

Flato is using the experience to warn other gamblers. “I want everybody to know what happened so it won’t happen to them,” Flato explained. “I’ve played slots all over the country and never had a problem like this. Even the people handing out the money said, ‘This isn’t right.’”

The decision to allow Navarro to push the button cost Flato the money and his friendship with the woman, who he has heard from sparingly since the incident occurred.

Frank Legato, Global Gaming Business magazine editor, tells the Miami Herald that the policy that cost Flato the money is “universal.” Even if he wanted to contest the ruling, it appears Flato doesn’t have any legal options. “No one would take the case,” Flato said. “And that jackpot money is long gone.”

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