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Woman looks to sue after NJ casino refuses to pay disputed $1.27 million slot machine prize

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A New Jersey woman plans to sue Bally’s Casino after the casino claims she did not win $1.27 million on a slot machine game.

Roney Beal, 72, a Shamong, New Jersey resident, about 42 miles north of Atlantic City, was playing the Wheel of Fortune slot machine game on Feb. 25 when flashing lights alerted her that she had just hit the jackpot.

However, the celebration was soon interrupted.

“When she pushed the home button, a tilt a message came up and that was the first time that there was any indication that there was a problem,” Beal’s attorney Mike Di Croce of Di Croce Law Firm told USA TODAY.

Beal told Di Croce that Bally’s employees came over and started touching the machine.

“They told her at that time that she did not win and that it was a machine malfunction,” Di Croce said. “They told her that she should spin the wheel, which she decided not to do.”

According to Beal’s sequence of events, she told Di Croce that the Bally’s employees then told the eyewitnesses surrounding the machine to stop recording. Some complied, while others continued to record the encounter.

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Beal returned to Bally’s Casino the next day to resolve the issue

The following day, Beal and her husband went to the casino to speak with management. Bally’s representatives told her that the slot machine had a malfunction and she had won nothing, Di Croce said.

When Beal told them that she would call her lawyer, they told her to get out of the casino and to not return. The Beals were then escorted off of the property, Di Croce said.  

Di Croce said Bally’s did respond to his request for comment of the issue.

“They indicated to me that it’s not their responsibility that their position is this is a progressive jackpot,” he said.

USA TODAY reached out to Bally’s for comment regarding Beal’s case.

“Bally’s has no comment on this incident as we’re only the casino who houses the machine,” Bally’s Vice President of Marketing and PR Diane Spiers said in an emailed statement. “[International Game Technology] IGT handles the payouts and would be best to get a comment from at this time.”

Di Croce believes that Bally’s could have done more in this situation.

“Bally’s said come play at our casino and you’ll get your winnings if you win,” he said. “So any contract that they may have with a third party is between them and this third party.”

Di Croce requests Wheel of Fortune slot machine be preserved

Di Croce said he has contacted Bally’s and the New Jersey Casino Control Commission to preserve the slot machine for evidence.

After several months of not hearing anything from the IGT or the casino commission, Di Croce said he and his client are preparing to file a lawsuit.

“IGT is cooperating with the investigation of this matter,” Vice President of Global Communications at IGT, Phil O’Shaughnessy, said in an emailed statement.

Beal was a frequent guest at Bally’s

Beal use to go to Bally’s often but didn’t appreciate how this situation was handled, Di Croce said.

Di Croce hopes Bally’s wants to make this situation right with Beal. After suffering a heart attack last year, Beal turned to the casino for enjoyment.

“Inviting people from Philadelphia and New York as well southern [New] Jersey and around the world, to come to your casino, people are going to rely upon your representations,” he said. “When they put their money in and they hit, you’re gonna pay them.”

Ahjané Forbes is a reporter on the National Trending Team at USA TODAY. Ahjané covers breaking news, car recalls, crime, health, lottery and public policy stories. Email her at Follow her on InstagramThreads and X (Twitter).

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