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South African Casino Accused of Withholding Winnings

17 February 2004

SOUTH AFRICA – As reported by the Cape Argus: "Six punters say they have been cheated out of their casino winnings after GrandWest in Goodwood refused to pay their jackpots immediately.

"The payouts amount to about R300 000 (US$45,813). The winners waited for about two hours on Monday afternoon, but left Sun International's Western Cape gambling showpiece disgruntled.

"Strand punter and gold card member Eric Meyer, who won just under R190 000 on the coin machines on Monday, said he had been playing on the machine for just under an hour when he hit the jackpot.

"'When I hit the jackpot, there was a sign at the bottom of the screen that said I was a jackpot winner. But when I called the attendant as instructed on the screen, I was told that it was only a mini-jackpot and that I could not be paid out because the machine was faulty,' said Meyer, 50.

"…And a 41-year-old Atlantis housewife, who also won more than R11 000, said she was upset by the casino's decision but would patiently wait for a phone call as she was told they would get back to her.

"GrandWest general manager Kurt Peter said the incorrect software had been loaded on to a new computer during routine maintenance and upgrading of hardware at the computer centre, which recorded 'incorrect' jackpot wins…"

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