$100K slot dispute can provide lessons

I wrote in The Miami Herald about a dispute involving Jan Flato, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and Flato’s former friend, Marina Medvedeva Navarro. Flato claims he provided money to Navarro, who pushed the button on a slot machine to win a $100,000 slot jackpot. (Navarro saysshe fed the machine her own cash.)

Here are some lessons to be learned:

If you’re providing gambling money to someone else, spell out the rules beforehand. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Here’s $100 to play with. If you lose it, fine. If you win, we split it.” And have a plan for who will be responsible for taxes, which come into play if the jackpot is $1,200 or higher.

Slots operate via pseudo random number generators. The machines have a constantly churning computer, which spits out a set of random numbers. (Well, a computer program generates the numbers, so you can dispute the term “random.”) The symbols you see on your screen merely are representations of a string of numbers. So if you hit a button a nanosecond sooner or later, it does affect the outcome. That means people who say “that jackpot was about to hit” or “that machine was due” are fallacious.

Money can make people crazy. Enough said.

NickSortal@BellSouth.net; Twitter: @NickSortal