Hitting a jackpot is what slot players dream of. An Omaha woman had this dream fulfilled only for a casino resort to shatter it by refusing to pay her out.
Tamara Bean recently played a penny slot at the Ameristar Casino Hotel where she won $1,733. When she went to cash out her winnings, the Council Bluffs-based casino resort denied her request.
“It’s the first time I’ve won in 15 years and now magically they’re going to say you don’t get your money,” said Bean.
Ameristar prohibited her from entering the premises in 2002 after they had discovered a controlled substance in her purse. However, Bean maintains that the casino hasn’t shown her “anything to state I wasn’t allowed in there.” In contrast, Ameristar explains that Tamara Sheffield signed a ban notice in 2002, and that she has been coming to the casino with a driver’s license for Tamara Bean, which the winner states is her married legal name.
Ameristar requires players to provide their Social Security numbers after winning. Only when Bean provided this did the casino find a ban under her maiden name and ultimately refused to pay her out.
The winner turned to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) for help, but they ruled that they couldn’t force Ameristar to give her $1,733. The IRGC reiterated that casinos did not have an obligation to find banned players on their premises.