When a tourist from Arizona won $229,000 from a Las Vegas slot machine, he actually had no idea. That’s right! Due to an error in the machine’s function, he walked away without his windfall! But believe it or not, the Nevada Gaming Board actually tracked him down and gave him his winnings.
The Great Vegas Search
In early January, Arizona resident Robert Taylor hit a massive, $229,369 jackpot while gambling at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. However, the slot machine experienced a malfunction that prevented Mr. Taylor and casino personnel from realizing that a progressive jackpot had been won,” according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. “By the time an extensive review of the slot machine and the communications technology was completed, confirming the jackpot had been won, Mr. Taylor had returned home to Arizona.”
Despite the fact that the casino found it incredibly hard to find Taylor, the gaming board knew it needed to do so. To track down the lucky gambler, they reviewed nearly 100 hours of surveillance footage from dozens of strip casinos, just as many electronic purchase records, and even ride-share data obtained by the Nevada Transportation Authority. That’s right! Eventually, thanks to all that info, the investigators tracked him down almost three weeks after his win.
“The Nevada Gaming Control Board is charged with the strict regulation of the gaming industry, the protection of the gaming public, and ensuring that the industry benefits the state of Nevada,” explained James Taylor, chief of enforcement for the Nevada Gaming Control Board. “I commend the agents of the enforcement division…for ensuring that the public trust in the gaming industry remains strong by spending countless hours over two weeks to ensure that a patron is awarded winnings owed to him…This has been a great example of government working together for the benefit of the public.”
Now, Robert Taylor just needs to return to Vegas to collect his $229,369 jackpot! However, the lucky patron is not the only winner in this story…
Taylor Is Not the Only Winner
As you might imagine, during the early days of the pandemic, Vegas took quite the hit as hotels, casinos, buffets, bars, airlines, and more needed to close down. However, the Nevada gambling industry has started to recover in recent months. In fact, according to a report last month, casinos earned nearly $13.5 billion, compared to $12 billion in 2019.
“This represents an all-time record for gaming win, beating the previous record set during calendar 2007 which totaled $12.8 billion,” Nevada Gaming Control Board analyst Michael Lawton explained. The reason? Well, of course, Lawton mostly credits the vaccine, which has allowed higher capacity limits in casinos. He also said it was the result of a stronger-than-average gambling desire as a result of “healthy consumer savings as a result of stimulus payments and the sustained rebound of leisure travel.”
So, expect to see a lot more stories like Robert Taylor’s soon enough – but hopefully, it won’t take a massive investigation to find the next huge winner!