Man Screwed Out of Slot Winnings by Button Pusher

A player at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino relived the moment where he was screwed out of a $100,000 slot jackpot thanks to a woman who pushed the button that started the reels rolling.

Jan Flato was playing the Double Top Dollar slot alongside his then friend Marina Medvedeva Navarro when the incident occurred. He fed the money into the machine but had Navarro push the spin button, as he wanted some "good luck". Navarro complied, and the machine hit for the huge progressive prize. The lights and sounds of the machine went off, and Flato thought he hit it big.

Unfortunately, the law in Florida states that the winner of the prize is the person who actually presses the spin button. This meant that Navarro is legally the winner, and she wasted no time cutting Flato out. She walked away with a $50,000 check as well as $50,000 in bills, and instructed the casino's security to keep Flato away from her.

Ms. Navarro has a contradictory story, claiming that she had put money in the machine and offered Flato a portion of the winnings, but he declined. Video evidence cannot be released by the casino due to privacy rules put out by the Seminole Indian tribe.

Speaking to the Miami Herald newspaper Flato said, "I want everybody to know what happened so it won't happen to them. I've played slots all over the country and never had a problem like that. Even the people handing out the money said, 'This isn't right.'"

Most people agree with Flato's sentiment, but the player says that every lawyer he speaks to says the issue is cut and dry: the person that presses the button has the legal right to the winnings.

It's a lesson that Mr. Flato is sure to never forget.

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lvblck
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6 April 2017 - 8:49pm
#1

That is such a painful lesson! And truth be told, I find this to be very silly from the legal aspect, I still think he should be the winner.

bgsharpe
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6 April 2017 - 10:31pm
#2

😮 Wow, what a story! I feel sorry for the poor guy.
Marina Medvedeva Navarro - a Russian or ex soviet "lady" with a Spanish last name, part me but you could expect that the last name have been changed for a reason here 🤑 , anyway of course the bill is uneducated one and I couldn't imagine a scenario when the man or woman who pressed the button should be defended by the law.
I'm really glad I'm not on that guy's place because I could become... a murderer in such scenario...although I would like thinking of my self as a non violent person 🙂

usReckless Bets
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6 April 2017 - 11:03pm
#3

This is nonsense. Though one person may have "pushed the button" for the winning spin, the entire bet was only possible due to the other person's money! How does that not factor into this situation? The winning spin would have never happened in the first place had there been no money in the machine!

3 CL-Ed, sharpe, blck

lvblck
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7 April 2017 - 1:53pm
#4
Reckless Bets wrote:

This is nonsense. Though one person may have "pushed the button" for the winning spin, the entire bet was only possible due to the other person's money! How does that not factor into this situation? The winning spin would have never happened in the first place had there been no money in the machine!

I was thinking exactly the same thing, that is just unbelievable!

bgsharpe
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7 April 2017 - 10:58pm
#5
Reckless Bets wrote:

This is nonsense. Though one person may have "pushed the button" for the winning spin, the entire bet was only possible due to the other person's money! How does that not factor into this situation? The winning spin would have never happened in the first place had there been no money in the machine!

Yes indeed, but obviously the law is just ridiculous, nonsense or not that lucky "lady" has gone with the guy's winnings.

lvblck
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8 April 2017 - 1:15pm
#6
sharpe wrote:

Yes indeed, but obviously the law is just ridiculous, nonsense or not that lucky "lady" has gone with the guy's winnings.

And to be honest, if I was at a land based casino, for this reason I wouldn't let anyone else press any buttons.

usMistee234
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8 April 2017 - 3:37pm
#7

So technically someone you don't know could walk up behind you hit your button and take claim of any winnings?

usReckless Bets
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8 April 2017 - 11:12pm
#8

Exactly, Mistee. It's a ridiculous precedent to set. Sounds like I could go to the high limit room, running around hitting max bet on everyone's slot machine and claiming any resulting handpays.

usMistee234
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9 April 2017 - 12:13am
#9

lol thats what I was thinking. At my casino I always see the same people just walking around and hitting cash out when machines have a few pennies left on it. If they read this article they might try just hitting the button hoping for a win. You think an attorney would have brought up that point.

Where are gambling laws listed? Does it vary by casino?

auCL-Ed
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9 April 2017 - 1:51am
#10

Yeah I agree with you Mistee234. If it is true that he put the money in to the machine, this guy has been absolutely robbed. As for the woman, someone he formerly called a "friend", what a scumbag.

Watch out for the casino vultures who go around checking coin return trays for spare change and other scammers. It wouldn't surprised if words gets around and they start hitting the buttons on other people's games for a freeroll shot at a big win.

Always play it safe! Consult our list of rogue casinos and warnings before depositing at a new casino.
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bgsharpe
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9 April 2017 - 7:20am
#11

Maybe particularly after this they should think of changing it, because it's really redicilous as it sits now, people running around and pressing buttons could be a dangerous thing for their own health I guess 🙂

ussavagegamble
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10 April 2017 - 6:46am
#12

For what it's worth this is Indian land not US soil if I am correct?

It is important to realize that on US soil one could go to a jury of their peers to rectify this injustice, but since this is Indian land I don't see that as a possibility. From the Indian stand point to get licensed by the State/Fed they have to apply which includes a set of house rules that must be adhered to or subject to outside officials regulation and interference.

From the legal stand point it makes sense that they created such a cut and dry scenario of who is entitled to what. You could imagine that all sorts of cases could get created if it was merely "whos money was at risk" this creates a nightmare of he said she said scenarios.

As far as random button pushers I would think that this amounts to theft and the security would ask these patrons to leave or something similar.

I think for the record this is utter horrid human behavior and its disgusting, but from the prospect of Indian Law it makes sense to me.

Word to the wise... Pick you friends carefully!

sharpe

usbarbadosslim93
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11 April 2017 - 1:26pm
#13

This story is gaining some traction nationally. I heard it on CBS morning news yesterday as well as on the Howard Stern Show on satellite radio. Definitely generating some debate.

sharpe

bgsharpe
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11 April 2017 - 10:21pm
#14
barbadosslim93 wrote:

This story is gaining some traction nationally. I heard it on CBS morning news yesterday as well as on the Howard Stern Show on satellite radio. Definitely generating some debate.

No wonder Slim, it's quite a story!

savagegamble wrote:

For what it's worth this is Indian land not US soil if I am correct?

From the legal stand point it makes sense that they created such a cut and dry scenario of who is entitled to what. You could imagine that all sorts of cases could get created if it was merely "whos money was at risk" this creates a nightmare of he said she said scenarios.

I don't know that rule wouldn't make sense for me in any casino, anywhere, and I don't think it's a debate in this particular case (at least from what we've read in the news) who's money been at risk. It's obviously his money and hers finger to press the button 🙂
But I'm agree that this could create some dangerous precedents...

savagegamble wrote:

Word to the wise... Pick you friends carefully!

Indeed, couldn't exist a better example than this story to prove the sentence.