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Punter wins pokies jackpot but doesn’t pocket the prize

Mon, Jan 14, 11:32am by Staff Writer

The MGM National Harbor Casino in Maryland has made a catastrophic error that has left one punter perplexed. Cynthia Obie spent an evening playing the pokies with her friend when she hit the jackpot at the popular casino.

Ms Obie didn’t disclose the exact mount of her win, but told US media the sum was in the “thousands”.

While it sounds like a profitable night for Ms Obie, there’s a catch.

Ms Obie discovered the casino had taken down her social security number incorrectly by just one number according to news.com.au.

A nine-digit social security number is issued to every United States citizen and permanent resident, and employee, patient, student and credit records are recorded under it.

A social security number is required to claim a jackpot.

That incorrect number belong to another personal entirely – someone who owed the state money in unpaid child support.

As a result, the prize was confiscated and Ms Obie was not given a single cent.

Instead of her significant prize, Ms Obie was offered drink vouchers and US$200 in game credit as compensation.

“Now I’m at the point, this is insane. You guys are a billion-dollar corporation. You do the research: I won fair and square. I just want my money,” Ms Obie said.

In a statement to FOX5DC, a casino spokesperson confirmed the “unfortunate error”.

Due to MLGCA (Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency) rules and Maryland State Law, we cannot provide an additional payout for this jackpot, however, if she presents proper identification credentials to the Maryland Gaming Commission, they will provide her with the appropriate payout,” the statement read.

Ms Obie must now take her case to the Maryland Gaming Commission in order to claim her prize.

Revenue at Maryland’s casinos on the rise

Revenue at Maryland’s six casinos increased in December 2018 according to figures released by the state’s Lottery and Gaming Agency.

The agency revealed that Maryland’s six casinos netted $148.4 million in revenue, which was $7.3 million more than the same time a year ago, representing a 5.2 per cent rise.

Five of the state’s six casinos experienced revenue increases last month, with the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore being the only exception.

Total gaming revenue for the 2018 calendar year was up 8.1 per cent in Maryland to $1.746 billion.

Slots revenue saw a rise to $1.1 billion from under $1 billion a year ago, while table game revenue spiked 6.3 per cent.

Casino gaming revenue contributed more than $61 million to Maryland state coffers in December, with $45 million going towards the Education Trust Fund according to USA Online Casino.

The remainder of the funds are distributed to the local communities where the six privately owned casinos are situated, as well as Maryland’s horse racing and pari-mutuel industry.

The states market leading venue, MGM Resorts’ National Harbor’s revenue rose six per cent in December to $59.9 million, up 15.8 per cent on its first year figure after opening in 2016.

The MGM National Harbor is located in Oxon Hill, Maryland and was built for US$1.4 billion.

It features a 23-storey hotel with 308 rooms as well as more than 12,000 square metres of gaming space.

The venue has hosted American singers Cher and Britney Spears in recent years as well as the 66th edition of the Miss World pageant in 2016.


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