• Fri
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Updated: 12:23am
NewsChina

Macau casinos withhold 133 slot machine payouts claiming wins were due to 'mechanical errors'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 2:58am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 9:34am

The Macau government has brushed off calls for tighter casino controls, amid accusations that operators in the world's gaming capital are unfairly withholding prize money from winners.

The casinos have reportedly refused 133 gamblers their winnings, claiming that their wins are the result of "mechanical errors" - a practice critics say will deal a blow to Macau's tourism image.

In one case, Ip Choi-peng, 51, said he spent more than four million patacas on slot machines at MGM and The Venetian in April, but did not receive winnings totalling 20 million patacas, the Legislative Assembly heard.

"A layman wins but waits for three hours before he is told he won't get any money," lawmaker Jose Pereira Coutinho said yesterday.

"This is damaging to Macau's reputation."

These casinos are hurting the image of Macau
Gambler Ip Choi-peng

Fellow legislator Au Kam-san argued that gamblers could not know if a machine was technically reliable before playing it.

Au called for a rewriting of laws governing the circumstances in which casinos could refuse payment.

But Manuel Joaquim das Neves, director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, assured lawmakers that Macau's gaming machines were all from qualified manufacturers.

"There are minor abnormalities, but it is very rare for flaws to be found on gaming machines," das Neves said.

He disagreed with Coutinho's suggestion that the city set up its own laboratories to check malfunctioning machines. The labs hired by the casinos were reputable, he said.

Das Neves also noted that legal provisions ensured travellers could be reimbursed if they had to overstay or make an extra trip to deal with such disputes.

Ip, who said he had not been refunded his 4 million patacas, attended the lawmakers' meeting but said he was dissatisfied with das Neves' answers.

"It seems the officials are acting in favour of casinos," he said. "These casinos are hurting the image of Macau. It's like these casinos are cheating … me."

He had been in negotiations with MGM and the Venetian, which were willing to pay compensation of only 10 per cent of the jackpot.

"That is … not even enough to cover my principal," he said.

The Venetian, whose holding company is Sands, said it had received the bureau's notification concluding his complaint could not be proven.

"Sands China will comply with the notification and the respective legislating of the Macau SAR," a spokesman for the company said.

MGM did not respond to the South China Morning Post's request for comment.

Additional reporting by Shirley Zhao

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This article is now closed to comments

aplucky1
133 machine FAILURES !!!
what a scam, then it should work the other way, the losers might have won, they are entitled to winnings
is this even statistically possible so many failures ?
M Miyagi
As reported, "In one case, Ip Choi-peng, 51, said he spent more than four million patacas on slot machines at MGM and The Venetian in April, but did not receive winnings totalling 20 million patacas, the Legislative Assembly heard." Four million patacas and cheated of his winnings! The burden of proof should be on MGM and The Venetian for using "faulty' slot machines in the first place. This is outrageous. MGM and The Venetian should be closed down until they address the problems with the faulty machines.
Shadow
Good Time for Hong Kong to Open its own casinos. I don't care how Macau deal with them, we will make sure we treat players good in Hong Kong.
OldPeak Toad
You see, hitting the jackpot by hitting a faulty jackpot machine was not the idea of gambling by the crooks running a casino - nor by the crooked governments licensing such, and collecting taxes!
Stephan
If you are able to gamble 4 million dollars away, I do not feel sorry for you!
chaz_hen
As if the scumbag casino owners couldn't afford these miniscule payouts
dascaldasf
These casinos had already hit the jackpot when they received their licences in Macau and their payout is not to the general public.
Paradox314
Not like anyone trusted them in the first place!
hkfirst
The best way to deal with these casinos is to stop visiting them, and make sure more people know about their 'policies'. It would be great if the casinos were more transparent about their payout percentages and how they set their machines. The Macau government should regulate payout percentages.
VicSexton
The house always wins.... even when it loses.

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