In the world of gambling, particularly in slot games, there’s a phrase that every player should be familiar with & that is “Malfunction Voids All Pays and Plays”.
It’s a common disclaimer, often overlooked, yet it carries great significance in the gaming and gambling industry.
On this page, we explain what this phrase means, its implications, and how it affects both players and casino operators.
What Does “Malfunction Voids All Pays and Plays” Mean?
“Malfunction Voids All Pays and Plays” is a common disclaimer found in both physical slot machines and online slot games.
Essentially, this phrase means that in the unfortunate event of a game or slot machine malfunction, all winnings from that particular round or play will be null and void.
This rule exists to protect casinos from having to pay out on wins that occurred due to a fault or error in the game system or machine rather than the player’s skill or luck.
It’s a safeguard against technical glitches which might display incorrect outcomes, leading players to believe they’ve won a significant prize.
What Happens When a Slot Machine Malfunctions?
Slot machines, like any other mechanical or digital devices, can malfunction. Whether it’s a glitch in the software, a misread by a sensor, or a physical problem with the machine itself, these malfunctions can result in unexpected and sometimes confusing outcomes.
Common signs of a malfunctioning slot machine include unusual or erratic flashing lights, sudden stops of the reels, or a displayed winning amount that doesn’t match the symbols on the reels.
Most significantly, a malfunction might cause the machine to display a jackpot win, even when the correct combination of symbols for such a win has not appeared.
When a malfunction occurs, the standard protocol for casinos is to void all pays and plays from the affected machine. The machine is then taken out of service, examined, fixed, and thoroughly tested before it’s returned to the casino floor.
Can Casinos Refuse To Pay Out?
Yes, casinos are within their rights to refuse to pay out winnings in the event of a slot machine malfunction. The “Malfunction Voids All Pays and Plays” disclaimer provides legal backing for casinos to withhold payment in such scenarios.
This might seem unfair to players, especially those who believe they’ve hit the jackpot. However, it’s important to remember that any winnings displayed due to a malfunction are not genuine.
The malfunction has caused the machine to act unpredictably, and the supposed win is not a result of the game’s rules or the player’s actions.
$43 Million Malfunction Voids All Pays and Plays Lawsuit
One of the most notable cases involving this disclaimer is the story of Katrina Bookman, a woman from New York who sued a Queens casino for a whopping $43 million.
After playing a slot machine at the Resorts World Casino, the machine informed her that she’d won $42.9 million & understandably, Ms. Bookman was ecstatic, dreaming of how she’d spend her new-found wealth.
However, her joy was short-lived. The next day, when she returned to the casino to claim her winnings, she was informed that the machine had malfunctioned and she hadn’t won anything.
The casino offered her a complimentary steak dinner instead, which she refused.
Ms. Bookman’s lawyer argued that even if the maximum payout on the machine was only $6,500, she should at least receive that amount, considering the machine had shown such a significant win.
This case highlights the importance of understanding the “Malfunction Voids All Pays and Plays” rule for all slot players.
What Happens To Your Winnings If An Online Slot Game Freezes?
Online slot game malfunctions can occur, too, often manifesting as a game freeze or a disconnect during play. In such cases, most online casinos have systems in place to ensure that your bet amount is returned to your account.
However, any apparent winnings displayed at the time of the malfunction will be void, in line with the “Malfunction Voids All Pays and Plays” rule.
It’s always advisable to take a screenshot or note down any error messages if you experience a game freeze or disconnect, as this can be helpful when reporting the issue to the casino’s customer support team.
The Bottom Line
While it may seem harsh, the “Malfunction Voids All Pays and Plays” rule is a necessary part of the gambling industry.
Without it, casinos could potentially lose vast amounts of money due to technical glitches and malfunctions, which in turn could impact their ability to offer fair games and prizes to players.
As a player, it’s crucial to understand this rule when playing slot games, both in physical casinos and online.