A tourist from Arizona won $229,000 on a Las Vegas slot machine but walked away unaware of his windfall, due to an error in the machine. It took nearly three weeks for gaming board agents to track him down and enrich him.
On 8 January, Robert Taylor hit a jackpot on a slot machine at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on the Vegas strip.
But the “slot machine experienced a malfunction that prevented Mr Taylor and casino personnel from realizing that a progressive jackpot had been won”, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said.
“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.”
The casino struggled to identify its lucky patron. The gaming board launched an extensive investigation that included a review of hours of surveillance footage across numerous properties; witness interviews; a study of electronic purchase records; and analysis of ride-share data obtained by the Nevada Transportation Authority.
Eventually, the investigation was able to identify Taylor as the lucky casino patron. He was notified on 28 January, nearly three weeks after his win.
“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 James Taylor, chief of enforcement for the board.
“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.”
Taylor will return to Las Vegas to collect his $229,368.52 jackpot, according to gaming officials.
The Nevada gambling industry has recovered since the start of the pandemic. In a report released last month, the state gaming board revealed that casinos “won” – or earned – a record $13.4bn in 2021, compared to $12bn in 2019.
“This represents an all-time record for gaming win, beating the previous record set during calendar 2007 which totaled $12.8bn,” board analyst Michael Lawton said.
He attributed the success to vaccine rollouts which have reduced capacity limits in casinos, as well as strong gambling demand due to “healthy consumer savings as a result of stimulus payments and the sustained rebound of leisure travel”.