New Jersey Online Gamblers Detect Slot Flaw, Win Nearly $1M But Casinos Slow to Pay
Online gamblers in New Jersey detected a flaw in the popular interactive slot game “Ocean Magic,” and used the defect to their advantage to win nearly $1 million.
NJ Online Gambling talked to two players who – along with several others – collectively won around $900,000 playing the internet slot machine on various online casino sites in the Garden State. According to writer Eric Raskin, the gamblers noticed that if they switched the amount of their wager, the game's board restarted to a beginning position that featured a “Wild” bubble in the first column.
If the denomination wasn't changed and subsequent spins were played, the wild would continue moving up until it disappeared. The players also realized that while “Ocean Magic” in Atlantic City's brick-and-mortar casinos limited spins to around $500, online sites permitted bets as high as $3,000.
The players – who are remaining anonymous – said they successfully withdrew $400,000. But the remaining funds are being tied up by the casinos.
Cheating? Or ‘Advantage Gambling'?
Those who won big on the slot game claim they are so-called “advantage players,” gamblers who look for ways to improve their odds and diminish house edges.
I pride myself in never having to lie, cheat, steal, or break any laws, to do my job,” one player explained. “I'm not too concerned about getting paid. We were very careful to make sure that we weren't breaking rules.”
He added, “We had a bet that was available on their software, that anybody could make, and they took our deposits, they booked that action. Pay the bet.”
The house is said to always wins – so when it doesn't in such a costly manner – casinos often take a step back to review how it happened. “Ocean Magic” has disappeared entirely from New Jersey online casinos.
The players say they will get the state's Division of Gaming Enforcement involved if their money isn't delivered in a timely manner.
“Ocean Magic” comes from game manufacturer IGT. The company, which highlights large jackpots on its website, makes no mention of the recent “Ocean Magic” wins.
Atlantic City slot machines come with a warning to gamblers that reads, “Malfunction voids all pays and plays.” It's a disclaimer found in nearly all casinos across the US.
In 2016, a New York woman believed she had won a $42.9 million jackpot. After all, that's what the machine told her she had hit. But casino officials said the device had malfunctioned, and the game's maximum payout was $6,500. Instead of becoming a multimillionaire, she was handed a meal voucher.
Malfunctions are one thing, but it appears the IGT “Ocean Magic” game might have been improperly programmed. Vegas Click, the online site of former professional gambler Michael Bluejay, explains that in these cases the game doesn't malfunction, but simply operates in the way it was programmed.
One case involving improper programming included IGT. A gambler at the Imperial Palace casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, thought she won $1 million despite the slot saying the max payout was $8,000. It was determined that IGT programmed the device as a progressive slot when it shouldn't have been.
The dispute went to court where the plaintiff lost and the judge sided with IGT and the casino.
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