Monday, September 22, 2008

Dear Faceless Stranger...

I hope the money meant something to you. Like, you were able to run out and buy your little girl the doll she's been wanting that you couldn't afford cuz you lost your job. Or that it'll help you with the down payment on that apartment you need to rent cuz you're being foreclosed on.

Y'know. Something like that.


Here's the deal. No one stole any money from me. (Not unless you count the stupid slot machine manufacturer whose FLAWED design cost me $350.)



Sad, huh?

I was building up a bankroll, cutting into my losses of Friday night. Got it up to precisely Three Hundred Fifty Dollars and Two Cents. (Note the two cents--it's the CRUX of the problem).

I inserted the bet slip into a slot machine at the same time my friend Randi inserted hers into the one next to it.

Beep Beep Beep

Now, remember. I'm not exactly a rookie, here. The sound seemed to be emanating from Randi's machine, so I said: "I think it's trying to give you change."

The beeping stopped. We proceeded to spin. Within a minute, I decided to move on, and I hit the "cash out" button.

Took my slip.

Chose another machine maybe twenty steps away and inserted my slip. The credits registered only two cents. Fine, I think. My slip's jammed again (for the third time that day, as a matter of fact.) Calmly, called a slot attendant and filled her in.

She uses her key to open the front and informs me I didn't put a $350 slip in. Still calm (knowing there must be ways to prove it), I insist that I did.

"No, no," she says. "You never took the $350 from the previous machine."

Crap. I suddenly get it. It was MY machine doing the beeping. It was trying to tell me to take the TWO CENT slip.

Which meant....uh-huh. My $350 was still in the previous machine.

Only, of course, by wasn't.

Security reported that the person who used the machine after me (probably sitting right next to Randi!!!) caught my unexpected windfall and cashed the entire ticket at another machine about ten minutes later.

What could I do? Obviously, there was no way the casino was gonna refund my money. And, yes, it's MY RESPONSIBILITY TO VERIFY THAT THE AMOUNT ON THE BET SLIP DISPENSED IS CORRECT. I get that. (Hell, I'd lost my glasses--wouldn't have been able to see the amount anyway.)

Still. Nine times out of ten, machines that feel this overriding urge to refund the money outside of nickel increments, automatically shoot out a bet slip. Some just add it to your bank, because after all, it's PAPER. Not like they're actually dispensing pennies, nickels and dimes....!!

Later, I met a guy at the bar who said the same thing happened to him once. According to him (I'm not sure I believed this), he got security to review the videotape and they tracked down the culprit in the casino. Gave him the option to pay the money back or never step foot in the casino again.

Sigh. Lesson learned.

The good news is, I got it all back the next day with some excellent bonus plays.

1 comment:

Reagan said...

How do you have such great gambling luck?? (Referring to the end of the story, obviously). I never win!! Definitely gonna have to come to LA and learn the tricks of the trade!