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Slot machine ‘malfunction’

Beal’s world turned upside down during a visit to Bally’s Atlantic City in February 2024.

A longtime lover of the slots, she told 6abc she dropped hundreds of dollars on the Wheel of Fortune machine before it eventually spun in her favor. She won the top prize of $1,277,955, which doubled to the $2.5 million jackpot after a multiplier lit up.

Beal claims the casino workers who came over to investigate her win tried to get her to re-spin, citing a “tilt” message that showed up when they opened the slot machine.

Her attorney, Mike Di Croce, believes they tampered with the machine — which is housed by Bally’s but manufactured and managed by IGT — to tamper any evidence of Beal’s win.

“They fooled with the machine before anyone else had an opportunity to take a look at this,” he told 6abc. “You invite somebody to your business, they pay the money [and] they win — you’re supposed to pay. That didn’t happen.”

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Preparing a lawsuit

Before approaching the news investigative team or hiring Di Croce, Beal did try to resolve the matter herself. She returned to Bally’s the day after her contested win to speak to the casino’s management, but she was given the cold shoulder and asked to leave.

“She wanted to try to get an explanation and essentially they escorted her out,” Di Croce told nj.com. “They told her to leave the casino and not come back, which is a very rude business practice for someone who had been going there for a very long time.”

When nj.com approached Bally’s for comment, the casino distanced itself from the fight and pointed to IGT, which “handles the payouts.” IGT declined to answer questions but released a one-sentence statement saying it is “cooperating with the investigation of this matter.”

Di Croce described Beal as “devastated” by the whole saga. “She’s a 72-year-old lady who has a heart condition and had a heart attack last year,” he said. “Imagine your mom or my mom sitting there playing this thing, thinking that she won — and I believe she did win with all these people coming up and celebrating behind her.”

They are planning to file a lawsuit to secure Beal’s multimillion-dollar jackpot in June. This won’t be the first legal case where a suspected wheel tilt has been disputed on a Wheel of Fortune machine.

In 2000, a judge and jury ruled against IGT over a similar case involving a Wheel of Fortune machine in Harrah’s casino New Orleans. Ultimately, the gaming giant was forced to pay the plaintiff the full $1.3 million jackpot.

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Bethan Moorcraft is a reporter for Moneywise with experience in news editing and business reporting across international markets.


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