Self-Excluded Gambler Stripped Of Jackpot Win By Seneca Niagara Casino
A gambler who had self-barred herself two years ago had to forfeit a jackpot win of $1,400 during a recent visit since the exclusion was still in effect. Pasqua DiGianni chose to bar herself from the Seneca Niagara Casino after losing a significant amount of money during a gambling spree at the casino in 2015.
She visited the casino for the first time since then on April 15, 2017. This time around she fed more than $600 into slot machines losing for most of the night before hitting a jackpot valued at $1,400. But she was in for a rude shock when she headed to the cash cage to reclaim her winnings. The casino refused to pay her the money claiming that she was still under exclusion. Furthermore, casino officials called the Niagara Falls police who charged her for trespassing.
In a statement, DiGianni said
I was really shocked. They could have warned me, 'OK, we believe what you're saying,' but not give me this court date. And then they wouldn't give me the jackpot. They should have given me the jackpot regardless
According to DiGianni, she had received a letter from the casino last year inviting her back but she hasn’t been able to produce it so far. The casino has refunded the $600 dollars it claims DiGianni spent on the slots. But DiGianni has disputed the amount saying that she had spent far more than that.
DiGianni says that played at the same $1 slot machine, first gambling $400, then taking another $500 from the cashier, thereafter another $400. When she had no luck playing the minimal bets, she pressed the maximum $45 play button which led to a jackpot win. She pointed out that had she not won, the casino would have never discovered that she was playing in the casino. She stated that she should have been let off with a warning instead of being faced with police charges.
Philip J. Pantano, a spokesman for Seneca Gaming Corp. said that the casino was unable to comment on the issues due to regulatory norms. The casino’s responsible gaming policy available on its website however has some explanation for its actions.
According to the policy when any person who has voluntarily excluded themselves enters the casino while still under exclusion, they would be arrested and any winnings would be forfeited.The policy also states that a person in exclusion may ask to be reinstated after a year. The casino letter DiGianni refers to could be the one asking her to do so.
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