There’s a fundamental rule in gambling and betting – never spend more than you can afford to lose. A gambler in Spain is going to lose a lot more than he spent following a judge’s order that he pay for two slot machines he damaged in a gambling hall.
The unidentified and unlucky gambler, originally from Romania, apparently didn’t have a good day at the reels. After losing all his money, he decided to take out his frustration on the machine.
After whacking it a few times, he grabbed a stool and used it to continue his assault on the mechanical bandit. Employees intervened, but that wasn’t going to be the end of his temper tantrum.
The Innocent Must Pay
The episode dates back to the afternoon of September 14, 2020, in a gaming establishment in Palma on Spain’s Mediterranean island of Mallorca. After losing his cool, several workers and patrons tried to stop the lunacy. The man then began to leave, but had to get in one last assault.
On the way out, he again grabbed a stool and smashed another slot machine. The invoice for his frustration exceeded €2,000 (US$2,152), according to the gaming hall. However, despite the relatively confined space of Palma, the Romanian was able to escape and remain hidden.
Then, after not even two months elapsed, he returned to his old ways, this time in Palma’s Rafal Nou neighborhood. Once again, a slot machine did not respond to his wishes and he began to punch the monitor, leaving it in pieces.
That time, the damage was only €660 (US$710). Despite the fact that surveillance cameras recorded his assault, the man was once again able to avoid Spain’s National Police for several months.
It was about three months before police found the ill-tempered gambling, arresting him in February 2021. Hours later, he was charged with two crimes of damage.
It took almost two years for him to appear in court to answer for his crimes, although there aren’t any reports of slot machine damage in the interim. After cutting a deal with prosecutors ahead of his court appearance, the man agreed to a fine of €1,140 (US$1,226), and was given approval to pay it in installments.
It isn’t clear from various media reports if the man is working or how he will pay the fine. Perhaps he’ll try to win it at the slots.
Winning Big Is Possible
For many, playing slot machines is nothing more than a form of entertainment – they don’t sit down in an attempt to win big money. That’s a good thing, since the odds at the slots are against the gambler and lean heavily toward the house.
However, gamblers do win big prizes from time to time. Last October, a woman from Hawaii visiting Boyd Gaming’s Fremont Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas hit a huge win. She picked up $717,000 off a $15 bet.
A gambler in California had an even better day at the slots last November. Playing a Wheel of Fortune slot for $10, the individual scored a $1.13-million payday.
One of the biggest payouts ever probably didn’t make the casino very happy. The Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas paid out $39.7 million to a guest in 2003. The win followed an investment of just $100.
Winning big at online slots is possible, too. Someone won around $23 million from a progressive jackpot in 2013 off a bet of only $0.25.
Online casinos have an added layer of protection for their operations. If a gambler loses and throws a temper tantrum, the only damage will be to his or her own equipment.
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