South Jersey Woman Still Waiting for 7-Figure Jackpot Payout From Bally’s Atlantic City

Written By Grant Lucas on May 17, 2024
Image of Bally's Atlantic City for a story on a woman who won a $1.2 million prize but claims Bally's and IGT won't pay the full jackpot.

Not all life-changing jackpots in Atlantic City casinos have happy endings. For now, at least, that’s the case for one South Jersey woman.

A customer at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino won a seven-figure jackpot on a slot machine in February that made her a millionaire.

Or so she thought. Months later, Roney Beal of Shamong Township is still waiting for her cash prize. Why? According to 6ABC news in Philadelphia, Bally’s and its gaming provider International Game Technology (IGT) are disputing the payout, saying it was a technical glitch.

Details of jackpot win that ‘wasn’t’ at Bally’s Atlantic City

After spending hundreds of dollars on slots on the day in question in February at Bally’s Atlantic City, Beal said the machine she was on lit up and indicated she was a winner. The prize was apparently for $1.2 million.

But casino officials quickly informed Beal that what had really happened was a machine malfunction.

“That’s when the sentences came up ’tilted,'” Beal told local news.

“When the [casino official] came over to talk to me he said, ‘Lady, get it in your head, you won nothing.'”

According to Beal, she was told the slot machine experienced what is known in the industry as a “reel tilt.” The casino offered her a $350 prize for the inconvenience.

An attorney for Beal claims the entire incident is suspicious. IGT, the company that pays out winners for Bally’s, is refusing to make a payment. Beal thinks they aren’t being honest.

“They fooled with the machine before anybody else had the opportunity to take a look at this,” said Mike Dicroce, whom Beal has retained to represent her in the dispute.

IGT faced similar problem 24 years ago

Bally’s does not own or maintain the slot machines. Rather, it leases the space for IGT to have their machines on its gaming floor.

Beal and her attorney have petitioned the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to acquire the machine as well as casino floor video for forensic review.

“You invite somebody to your business. They pay the money, they win, you’re supposed to pay,” Dicroce said. “That didn’t happen.”

In 2000, IGT faced a similar dispute on a similar Wheel of Fortune slot malfunction. After Jacque Bezou took both IGT and Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino to court, IGT claimed the computer system said it wasn’t a win despite symbols on the machine saying otherwise. Neither a jury nor an appellate judge agreed, and after several years, IGT ultimately had to pay the $1.3 million jackpot.

Now, Beal is hoping for a similar – if not quicker – resolution from IGT and Bally’s, neither of which commented on the issue. For her part, Beal remains nonplussed, feeling she has been cheated.

“Why would I ever go to a casino again in my life? Any casino? Why, if there is no hope.”

Photo by Wayne Parry / AP Photo
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant now focuses his attention on the growing NJ online gambling and sports betting scene.

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