Woman Barred Herself from Winning Casino Jackpot

ian bruce
Written by Ian Bruce
Published on Wednesday 26th April 2017, 8:33 am

Woman Barred Herself from Winning Casino Jackpot

Winning a slots jackpot and then getting charged by the police for trespassing when you go to claim your prize doesn’t exactly sound like the normal turn of events when visiting a casino, but that’s exactly what happened recently to a woman from Ontario in the USA. Even more bizarrely, the reason for the unusual situation at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, New York, was that 69-year-old Pasqua DiGianni had voluntarily barred herself from the venue two years previously.

The weird tale began when DiGianni won a slot machine jackpot worth $50,000 at the Seneca Niagara Casino back in 2015. Unfortunately, she didn’t stop playing at that point, and over several visits she ended up losing the whole sum back to the venue. That $50,000 loss led her to voluntarily signing a document which barred her from returning.

Fast forward to Saturday 15 April, 2017, and DiGianni was back at the Seneca Niagara and once again playing slots games. To be more specific, she was playing one particular gaming machine, and she put more than $600 into it before hitting a jackpot worth $1,400. She went to collect that sum from the cashier’s window, and it was then that the casino staff noticed that her self-imposed ban was still in force. 

Since DiGianni had no right to be at the venue, the casino refused to pay her, and staff then called the police, who arrested her for trespassing. DiGianni was refunded $600, which the casino claimed was the amount of money that she had put into the machine before striking the jackpot, but DiGianni later said that she had spent over double that amount, and that she would only have broken even had the venue delivered the jackpot sum she was expecting.

DiGianni says that she received a letter from the casino in 2016 which said that she was able to return, but the casino maintains that players must make a written request for any self-imposed ban to be removed in order to resume playing at the venue. By her own admission, no such written request was made, and so DiGianni was technically trespassing when returning to the Seneca Niagara earlier this month.

The Ontario woman must now appear in court to respond to the charge against her. She says that the casino has made a big deal out of nothing, but all the venue has really done is honour her voluntary request to be excluded from it. Whilst DiGianni may not be happy with the situation, she can’t fault the fact that the Seneca Niagara Casino are playing by the book, and as she has discovered to her regret, excluding oneself from gambling also means excluding oneself from the possibility of winning as well as losing.

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