When a 66 year-old South African grandmother in the city of Kimberley, South Africa hit a large progressive slot jackpot at African Palace Casino.com on November 7th last year she thought her financial worries were over, but this week reports in the South African Sunday Times newspaper indicated that they may have only just begun.
Marie Van Wyk was playing the Beach Life progressive slot when she made a Rands 80 (about $10) and won a jackpot worth Rands 8.5 million ($1,054 million). She was feted by African Palace, who exploited the win widely in a publicity sense (see http://www.africanpalacecasino.com/news/fa_winnersnov08.php).
Apparently some arrangement was made with the Playtech-powered online casino to pay the lucky winner in six monthly instalments rather than one cash tranche. Van Wyk trusted the casino owners because she had previously been successfully paid out on a Rands 64 000 jackpot at the same casino.
Unfortunately, the arrangement only worked for two payments, with Van Wyk receiving only Rands 2.8 million in total, before payments dried up and the April instalment did not arrive.
Van Wyk fears that the May payment has also been withheld, and this prompted her to tell her story to the local newspapers.
"I have won several times before and never have my winnings been paid out in instalments," said the Kimberley grandmother, who is a regular online player.
When she told the company that she was going to expose their failure to pay her, she received a lawyer's letter assuring her that a "workable solution can be found without the need to air grievances in public."
Approached by the newspaper, African Palace finance manager Tagore Dhanraj refused to comment beyond saying that the company was trying to resolve the matter.
African Palace has been the subject of player complaints regarding payments in the past, whilst the progressives payouts of its software provider, Playtech, have recently been criticised for being effected in instalments instead of in a single payment as is the case with more established software providers like Microgaming and Cryptologic.
Van Wyk's big win features prominently on the African Palace website landing page and in its news section, where photographs of the presentation of a mock R8.5 million cheque abound.
In related news, Gaming VC Corporation's CasinoClub.com announced over the weekend that player 'sunshine-muc' overcame the odds to win the Boss Media-powered Fortunes of Egypt jackpot. His Euro 2.50 wager saw him win a substantial jackpot of Euro 393 043.31.
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