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A Las Vegas casino successfully tracks down a tourist who won $229,000 without his knowledge

Chris Grand |
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On January 8, Robert Taylor won a jackpot while playing at Treasure Island casino but walked away due to a slot-machine glitch. Due to a mechanical malfunction, a tourist from Arizona won $229,000 on a Las Vegas slot machine but walked away completely unaware of his colossal prize. Agents from the gaming board took nearly three weeks to locate him down and enrich him with his award.

treasure island winner

Treasure Island hotel and casino. Photograph: John Locher/AP

On January 8, Robert Taylor luckily hit the jackpot on Treasure Island Hotel & Casino slot machine. However, the “slot machine experienced a malfunction that prevented Mr. Taylor and casino personnel from realizing that a progressive jackpot had been won,” read a statement from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

“By the time an extensive review of the slot machine and the communications technology was completed, confirming the jackpot had been won, Mr. Taylor had returned home to Arizona,” further said the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Treasure Island Hotel & Casino had a difficult time trying to identify its lucky customer. The gaming commission initiated an investigation that included hours of surveillance footage from multiple properties, witness interviews, an examination of electronic transaction records, and an analysis of ride-share data collected from the Nevada Transportation Authority.

Taylor was eventually identified as the lucky casino patron by the investigation, and on January 28, approximately three weeks after his win, he was notified by the casino.

“The Nevada Gaming Control Board is charged with the strict regulation of the gaming industry, the protection of the gaming public, and ensuring that the industry benefits the state of Nevada,” said the chief of enforcement for the board, Mr. James Taylor.

“I commend the agents of the enforcement division … for ensuring that the public trust in the gaming industry remains strong by spending countless hours over two weeks to ensure that a patron is awarded winnings owed to him.

“I’d also like to thank the Nevada Transportation Authority for their assistance in confirming the identity of the patron. This has been a great example of government working together for the benefit of the public,” further added Mr. James Taylor.

According to the gaming officials, Robert Taylor will have to return to Las Vegas to collect his jackpot winnings of $229,368.52.

The entire gambling industry in Nevada seems to have recovered following the coronavirus pandemic that almost brought everything to a halt. Based on a report issued last month, Nevada’s state gaming board said that casinos “won” or earned a record $13.4 billion in 2021 alone, compared to the $12 billion acquired in 2019.

“This represents a record for gaming win, beating the previous record set during calendar 2007 which totaled $12.8bn,” said Michael Lawton, Nevada Gaming Board analyst. Lawton further attributed the success to instances of increased traffic in casinos, along with gambling demand resulting from “healthy consumer savings as a result of stimulus payments and the sustained rebound of leisure travel.”

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