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Casino Ordered to Pay Banned Slot Player $875,000

23 July 2003

DETROIT, Michigan – As reported by the Associated Press: “A federal jury has ordered a casino to pay $875,000 to a woman who was banished after trying to play a nickel token she found at an unattended slot machine.

“A U.S. District Court jury made the award Tuesday to Estella Romanski, 74, of Troy, Mich., for her treatment in 2001 at the MotorCity Casino.

“…The controversy involved what is called slot walking, the practice of picking up tokens from unattended slot machines. It is discouraged or prohibited by many casinos, including those in Detroit, though a rule against it is generally not posted.

“…After playing the nickel slots, Romanski said, she spotted a nickel token in the tray of an unattended machine and tried to play it.

“But before she could do so, she said she was surrounded by security officers who held her against her will, demanded to see her identification, questioned and photographed her and then evicted her from the casino.

“She said they also confiscated her $9 meal ticket as well as the nickel token and would not let her rejoin her group…”

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