Monday, June 06, 2005
LOTTERY CORPORATION NARROWLY ESCAPES PUBLIC RELATIONS DISASTER
On Saturday may 24th, Paul pictured above was at the Millennium Lounge which is located in the Colonial Inns on City Road in Saint John N.B. Paul was a frequent player of the VLT’S at that location. On this particular evening he had been playing for some time but upon finishing his game he tried to cash out his credits, which was in the amount of $25.00.
To his surprise a message came up on the screen saying there was no receipt paper to print the transaction. He spoke to the bartender about this and was told that she would have to take his name and phone number. She also added that he should return the next day to receive his money, so he left the premises.
Three days later, on Tuesday morning he had remembered that he was owned $25.00 and returned to the Millennium Lounge at the Colonial Inns.
Once Paul tried to receive his money the Bartender told him that without a payout slip, they could not pay him!
He then explained the VLT had ran out of receipt paper and that was why he had no payout slip but his name & number were left at the bar so he could return to be paid.
But the bartender on shift that day insisted that he couldn’t be paid without a payout slip.
So Paul returned home and phoned the Atlantic Lottery Corporation in Moncton and to his disappointment he got the same answer from them as he had gotten from the bar. Paul feeling very frustrated at this point told the Lottery Corp.
He would proceed to go to the nearest hardware store and purchase a Sledge Hammer and return to the Colonial Inns and take his frustrations out on the Video Lottery Machines which are located in the Millennium bar Paul said the choice was theirs to make, $25.00 owed to him or thousands of dollars in damage to them?
The Lottery Corporation told Paul they would return his call to let him know what they would do for him.
The following morning Paul received a call from the Atlantic Lottery Corp. and was told to go to the Millennium Bar at the Colonial Inns to receive his $25.00. Once at the bar he was paid his money. Paul explained to the Bartender that it was a matter of principle.
She agreed but also told him that he was now banned from the Colonial Inns property for making threats to damage their Video Lottery Machines.
Paul explained to her that he did not feel this was fair but accepted it and left.
After Paul told me of his situation I decided to ask a few bartenders if this is a common occurrence some did say that it does happen periodically.
I was also told there are times when you are asked to take your payout slips home and bring it back later or next day to be paid because of cash float shortages.
Based on the Millions of dollars involved I cannot believe that people have to get that close to breaking the law or ending up in the courts and possibly receiving a criminal record over such a small amount of money considering the cut between the bars, the Government and the lottery Corporation.