Galaxy Entertainment Group

'Jackpot' winner unlikely to receive prize

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 September, 2007, 12:00am

A Hong Kong woman who apparently hit a jackpot of HK$40 million in Macau is unlikely to cash in the amount due to a 'machine error', the city's deputy gaming inspector said yesterday.

'It seems that the amount will not be paid out,' said Antonio Pedro Silva Correia Paiva, deputy head of the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ)

'It's a gross mistake [by the machine],' Mr Paiva said.

Mr Paiva said it had happened because of a software problem in the machine at the StarWorld Casino.

'That machine never pays [so much]. It's queer,' he said.

The middle-aged woman, surnamed Tin, deposited a HK$5 coin in a slot machine at the StarWorld casino about 8pm on Thursday.

Shortly after she pushed a bet button, the red light started flashing on top of the machine and the number 40,000,000 appeared on the credit meter.

But casino staff told Ms Tin it was a mechanical mistake and switched off the machine despite her protests.

She then called the police.

A spokeswoman for Galaxy Entertainment, which owns StarWorld, said the maximum jackpot payout of that machine was HK$45,000.

'A player was playing a gaming machine when the machine malfunctioned and the screen went blue,' she said.

'The result of malfunction was that the credit meter on the machine had increased significantly.'

The spokeswoman said the DICJ had advised Galaxy that the jackpot claim was 'unsupportable'.

'In the meantime, StarWorld is inspecting all slot machines similar to the one in the incident to ensure that all machines are functioning properly and customers' interest are protected,' she said.

'While Galaxy regrets this unfortunate incident it is clearly a machine malfunction and no jackpot was won.' Mr Paiva said that DICJ was still investigating the matter to decide whether or not Ms Tin should be awarded a prize, and how big the prize should be.

Ms Tin had been arguing her case with StarWorld staff until early yesterday morning, when she left the casino.

In February, a 16-year-old Hong Kong girl hit the jackpot at the Sands Macao casino after entering the casino illegally. The gaming inspection bureau censured the casino for letting in an underage person but ordered it to pay out HK$740,000 in winnings to the girl's mother.