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Should Casinos and Lotteries Pay Out Errors?

Posted By Jim On 05/18/2007 @ 7:41 am In Personal Finance | 8 Comments

There is yet another “I won a couple million bucks, oh wait no I didn’t there was a malfunction” article in the news, this time it’s with a misprint on a scratch off ticket [3] in Florida. This reminds of the more often than funny times it’s happened with a slot machine malfunction [4] where the payout never occurs (though casinos have the BS disclaimer posted that they will not pay out malfunctions, lottery tickets likely don’t say that they don’t pay out misprints), but it got me to wondering… should they own up to these mistakes? Even if they’re not responsible?

I think they should for a couple of reasons. First, these happen so infrequently that I doubt it would hurt their bottom line to pay out these malfunctions and misprints. Second, it’s not the buyers fault, it’s the casino’s fault for not vetting out the software good enough to find these mistakes. Thirdly, it’s unfair to the customer, who has just has just ridden this emotional roller coaster to the top, who now has to watch it all come crashing down.

Ultimately, they don’t pay, because casinos and lotteries are evil and they’re designed to trick you into giving them their money. So… once they’ve tricked you, why would they pay out if they can find a legal way to keep their hard tricked money?


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[3] misprint on a scratch off ticket: http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/05/17/lottery.misprint.ap/index.html

[4] slot machine malfunction: http://www.strictlyslots.com/archive/0009ss/html/behind.html

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