The Good Samaritan

Home » Columns » The Good Samaritan

About a month ago, I was playing the 5¢ slots and lost about $20. When I took my player’s card out, I noticed the machine next to me (no one was playing while I was there) had a ticket sticking out. I took the ticket, without looking at the amount, and asked a man and women standing in line at the cashier’s cage if they were on that machine. They said “no” and I told them about the ticket.  He asked how much it was for and only then did I looked at the winnings. It was $644 and some odd cents. He exclaimed, “that’s your money, it can’t be tracked to the owner.” I knew it wasn’t my money and went back to check the player card slot, which was empty. While walking to the restaurant, I encountered a gentleman wearing a suit and badge from the casino. I proceeded to tell him the story. Without a word, he grabbed the ticket from my hand and said “that is not your money.” I knew full well it wasn’t mine, but asked how and if the casino could check on the rightful owner. It was explained that they could track the owner if he/she used a player’s card. It was also explained to me that if they didn’t, the money was still not mine, and that it belonged to the casino. The security person also said if it was under $500, the rules were different. That’s the part I am not sure of. I am an honest person, and knew the money was not mine, but if the owner could not be found, (didn’t use a player card) I don’t think the casino should get the money back. So, Mark, is the money the casinos? Could I have put the ticket in a machine, with no player card, and gambled with the money? What would have happened if I had worked the money down to under $500 without a card?

P.S. The woman who left the ticket behind did use a player card and we did find her. She was elderly, had been winning all day (she said) and didn’t miss the $664 she left in the machine. Joan C.

At the outset, Joan, let me tell you what casinos don’t want. Somebody making a full-time occupation cruising the casino scavenging for the millions abandoned each year by gamblers who forget their stored credits, coins in the tray, lost chips on the ground, or in your case, a winning ticket protruding from a machine. You might not have been foraging for free money, but for those who purposively circle the casino looking for orphan anything, it’s illegal.

I can’t speak directly to rules governing a Canadian casino, or their $500 rule, which, Joan, I have never heard of, but the seven joints where I worked, and most other casinos for that matter, take the position that abandoned currency or credits, of any amount, belongs to them.

So what happens if you find a winning slip that was left behind? Do you leave it alone, play it, or do you alert an attendant? Yes, you could have easily reinserted the slip in another machine, even cashed it out and probably would have gotten away with it, but giving it to an attendant, who could have easily tracked down the rightful owner if they were using a player’s card, was the virtuous thing to do. I suspect though, that a good number of players would have probably taken the money and run.

A few tips for other slot-playing patrons, not you of course, is that if you plan circumnavigating the casino looking for an easy score, you might want to also be aware that the second you set foot in a casino that you are on film, and any inappropriate behavior becomes obvious in short order. Always use your Player’s Club Card, if but for the reason above. And finally, before you walk away from any slot machine, don’t forget to press the cash-out button, and for gosh sakes, take your winning ticket.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: “Players are held in the trap by the idea that a jackpot may be just a pull away.” –Alan Krigman, Winning Ways

Top Casino
Latest Casinos
111% Welcome Bonus plus a $111 FREE CHIP

Sign up today get 500 FREE SPINS on Chilli Heat

Exclusive Games with Fast & Secure Payments
Get up to $8000 Bonus + 100 Free Spins on signup
WagerWeb 50% Cash bonus OR 75% Cashback 125% signup bonus up to $1000
Slots Animal Casino 5 Free Spins ( No Deposit )
wagerweb sportsbetting
Latest Games
Big Salmon Run

Play the Big Salmon Run slot from Arrows Edge at this Casino.


Play the Bonanza slot from Big time gaming at this Casino

1 Million Megaways BC

Play 1 Million Megaways BC Slot Game from Iron Dog Gaming at this Casino

Aztec Powernudge

Play The Aztec Powernudge Slot from Pragmatic Play at this Casino

Thunderstruck II

Play Thunderstruck II Slot Game from Microgaming at this Casino