NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Harry Blackwood contends he won $25,000 while playing a slot machine at Fallsview Casino last month, but officials refused to pay him because they claimed there was something wrong with the machine.
The Fort Erie, Ont., man said he had been at the casino about three hours on Sept. 22. At around midnight, he was getting ready to leave and on the way out stopped to play Reel Money.
"I played for about 40-45 minutes and pumped about 80 bucks into it," Blackwood said. "At first I didn't win anything big, just got credits, and there's a clock and an arm at the top that goes around and it stopped right on the white button that said $25,000."
He said lights on top of the machine came on, but no bells went off and the machine then went into a freeze mode.
"The lady beside me freaked out thinking I had won the $25,000 and that's what I thought, too, but when the slot attendant came over he told me I didn't win anything."
Blackwood asked to talk to the slots manager and he was told the same thing — he wasn't a winner.
"He told me the machine went into a tilt mode and I told him that's not my problem. The arrow stopped on the $25,000."
Blackwood was told there are security systems in the machines that sometimes go off.
"I found it ironic that it never went off when I hit $10 or $12, but it went off when I hit the $25,000 and they tell me the machine malfunctioned."
As a courtesy, the casino put a free buffet dinner on his card.
Greg Medulum, communications director for Fallsview Casino Resort, said they are aware of Blackwood's concern.
The casino said a tilt occurred causing the game to momentarily freeze. The machine corrected itself and returned back to play where it left off prior to the freeze.
During the tilt, the patron indicated he believed he saw a winning combination.
Medulum said their senior slot operations staff reviewed the game history with the customer "which clearly indicated that there was no winning combination."
In addition, their surveillance and slot software management systems indicated that no win had occurred.
Also, an error code and tilt light appeared during the play.
"We cannot pay out a winning combination that did not occur," Medulum said.