Gambler Denied €43 Million Slots Jackpot To Sue CasinoDecember 14, 2011 12:34 pm
A Swiss gambler who though he had won a casino’s slots jackpot for €43 million ($62 million) only to be informed it was a “software error,” is now suing the casino with the first hearing scheduled for January 10th.
Behar Merlaku, 26, is a Kosovar-Albanian who fled his homeland during the Balkans war and settled in Switzerland. On the 26th March, 2011, he was playing the slot machine at Bregenz Casino in Austria, when he got the surprise of his life. As he explains:
“The jackpot came up loud and clear. There was music and the sum I had won, nearly 43 million euros, was displayed on a screen. I was so overjoyed and in my head I began calculating what I could do with all this money.”
However, his joy was short-lived after the casino staff pointed out that he had only hit four of the five required symbols in a line and informed him that the jackpot display was caused by a ‘software error.
Mr Merlaku was then offered a free meal and £60 by way of compensation, which he chose to refuse, and has been demanding that the casino honours the ‘win’ ever since. Describing the trauma he has suffered as a result of the incident, Merlaku said:
“I have psychological problems since the jackpot incident. I can’t sleep anymore and I constantly think about the injustice I’ve experienced. I’m almost ruined. I’ll always keep thinking about that day.”
In addition, after he refused the Bregenz Casino’s paltry offer for compensation, he was subsequently banned from the premises with the casino placing responsibility for the incident squarely on the shoulders of the slots manufacturer.
The first hearing in the case is now scheduled for January 10, 2011.