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The Sad Case of Sylvia - Online Casino Progressive Winner

May 12, 2009

Homepage > Online Casino News > Sad Case of Slyvia - Online Casino Progressive Winner

Casinomeister, the watchdog of the online casino industry, has revealed a case that has been brought to its notice. It is, to say the least, a cause for concern.

In August 2008 Sylvia hit the Beach Life progressive jackpot at Playtech powered Joyland Casino. The jackpot was for $4,188,720 and immediately made the headlines at all online gaming news portals on the Internet. In an interview to the casino Sylvia had said that she would buy a house with her winnings and give her children the kind of life she had always wanted to. But after the ecstasy came the agony. 

Sylvia was told that the only way she could collect her $4 million plus win was at the rate of $9,000 per month. Joyland Casino’s Terms and Conditions specified that the maximum payout per month would be $9,000 and Sylvia had agreed to that before wagering. It would take Sylvia almost 40 years to collect her winnings that way. She was given an option of wagering the amount at Joyland Casino, which also was not acceptable. A third option given by the online casino was to accept $2.3 million in cash and $61,000 in VIP points as a full and final settlement. Then Sylvia was pressurized into making a choice overnight or losing it all. A disappointed Sylvia agreed to settle for half her winnings. But she recorded the conversation she had with the casino representative in which he spelled out how much she had actually won and how much she was being paid.

All online gaming software providers network progressive jackpots over all the online casinos they license. Hence contributions to the jackpot come from a large number of casinos. These contributions are kept with the online gaming software providers till the jackpot is hit. Different software providers follow different procedures when the jackpot is hit. Playtech gives the entire sum to the online casino to give it to the winner.

The then owners of Joyland Casino sold their property to William Hill Online soon after this incident. William Hill Online paid for the assets and the liabilities remained with the previous owners and therefore no claim can be made on William Hill Online. Casinomeister traced the then owners as an entity called Six Digits Trading but as of now it is uncertain as to what legal recourse is possible against them.

Getting Sylvia her balance winnings is one part of the story. Preventing this from happening again is equally important. In this context Casinomeister has asked some tough questions to Playtech. They have said that Playtech needs to immediately change its policy of handing over the funds to the online casino where the jackpot is hit. Since the software provider is the custodian of the funds it is its responsibility to ensure that the funds are delivered in full to the winner. If the online gaming industry does not collectively address this issue, then the large payout progressive jackpots may well be history.

At the time of her win Sylvia had offered advice to her fellow online gamblers. She had said, “Never stop dreaming and hoping because one day maybe you will be the one in the hall of fame just like me.” It is doubtful that she will stand by those words now.

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