SLOT MAKER IN HOT WATER

June 05, 2001 8:50 PM
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Michigan regulators are considering punitive action against WMS Gaming for failing to notify them of slot machines problems that allowed gamblers to cheat the machines and play for free.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has set a hearing date of June 20 to review allegations the Chicago-based slot giant failed to fully disclose the software glitches to the board and notify it in a timely manner, according to a report in The Detroit News.

The board also says the company did not notify it of negotiations with MGM Grand Detroit Casino to cover losses the casino incurred as a result of the problems.

The glitches, which occurred over nearly two years, were centered in the bill acceptor devices on the slot machines and allowed players to get free credits after inserting money into the machines. WMS later agreed to pay MGM $1.2 million in connection with the problems.

If the board's allegations are proven, WMS could face fines or other penalties, the report said.

The report said the board is also reviewing the company's continued suitability as a supplier in Michigan.