Listen, we know what it’s like to keep shoving money into a slot machine, mesmerized by the blinking lights and the possibility that this time will be different, this time will bring riches beyond imagining! But should you lose, don’t act like a mad baby and maim the casino’s machine. That’s just immature.
There’s apparently a crime wave moving through the country’s casinos, including damaged machines and acts of violence. Gamblers losing money are taking out their rage on the machines and punching them when they don’t score big, reports the New York Times.
“It happens like three, four times a week, and that’s only on my shift,” said a security guard at a casino in Queens, N.Y.
He says angry gamblers will punch, kick or slap a slot machine that doesn’t garner a jackpot, shattering the glass. Sometimes it costs those gamblers more money to pay for the damage than they lost playing the game.
“I lost $300 without a bonus, so yes, I broke the machine,” one 56-year-old man told security guards when he punched through a terminal screen in January. “And I’d do it again.”
Everyone from police officers, hand surgeons and slot machine repair workers are used to these kinds of slot violence, as they’re the ones left to deal with the aftermath.
“I quite frankly was somewhat surprised when I saw the numbers,” said the Queens district attorney, whose office prosecutes the cases. “The last thing that I anticipated was that we would have patrons punching out the machines. I guess they assume the machines won’t fight back.”
It’s getting even more expensive now to fix the machines, as casinos continue to switch from old-fashioned machines with spinning reels to all-digital versions with LCD or touch screens.
To be clear — patrons don’t usually try to actually break the part of the machine where the game is played. Instead, they take their ire out on the screens that advertise the games’ names. Because maybe, just maybe, that machine could still dispense a big payday and make all the punching worth it.
*Thanks for the tip, Rowell!
At Casino, Fuming Gamblers Leave Behind Maimed Machines [New York Times]