Maine Casino Accidentally Tells Guests They Won Free Slot Play

Posted on: January 15, 2024, 11:21h. 

Last updated on: January 17, 2024, 03:56h.

A casino in Maine ruffled patrons’ feathers after accidentally telling some guests that they had won a weekly drawing for $250 in free slot play.

Maine Oxford Casino free slot play
The Oxford Casino in Maine is backtracking on $250 in promotional slot play it wrongly issued to certain patrons. Those impacted guests are naturally upset about the error. (Image: Portland Press Herald)

The Oxford Casino in Southern Maine conducts a weekly drawing where five customers are randomly drawn from the property’s loyalty database. The handful of winners receive $250 in free slot credits.

On January 10, the casino owned and operated by Churchill Downs notified the five winners. But a glitch caused by human error accidentally resulted in numerous other patrons being told they had also won.

On January 10, five patrons were randomly selected and received an email correctly notifying them that they were a winner,” said Oxford Casino General Manager Matt Gallagher. “Unfortunately, the same email was incorrectly sent to a number of patrons who were not winners. This was the result of a human error.”

The Oxford Casino has almost 1,000 slot machines and 28 table games. Voters authorized the commercial casino through a statewide gaming referendum in 2010.

The casino opened in June 2012 as the Black Bear Four Season Resort and Casino. It was renamed Oxford as the casino’s host city after Kentucky-based Churchill Downs purchased the property for $160 million in July 2013.

Patrons File Complaints

Gallagher revealed that after detecting the human error, casino staff notified the Maine Gambling Control Unit to receive state authorization to rescind the erroneously issued $250 slot credits. The casino general manager said the state gaming regulator quickly signed off on the request after reviewing the details of the incident.

The Maine Gambling Control Unit, which additionally regulates Maine’s other commercial casino, Hollywood Casino Bangor, has fielded over a dozen complaints from Oxford players who were told they had won free slot play only to be later told they hadn’t. The state gaming agency says it will review the complaints and also send the grievances to Oxford Casino officials.

“If there is insufficient gravity to warrant further action, it may be dismissed or brought before the Board for a final decision,” the state explained.

Promo Statute

Maine’s commercial gaming law allows the two casinos to reward patrons with free slot play. But such marketing incentives are subject to regulatory conditions.

For slot promotional credits, the complimentary plays “must be issued in the form of free play credits on a ticket, voucher, or player card to be used solely to play a slot machine.” The state gaming unit also requires each licensed slot operator to file a monthly report detailing the daily allotments of slot promos for patrons totaling $250 or more.

“Each licensed slot machine operator and casino operator must file every month with the Board a report on any daily or 24-hour issuance of a total of $250 or more in promotional credits redeemed by a patron, including the amount issued, the name of the patron, and the name and number of the employee who issued the credit,” reads Chapter 29 of the Maine Gambling Control Board Rules, which is titled, “Promotional Credits and Other Player Incentives.”

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