Casino patrons have bigger payoffs than expected

Sunday, March 27, 2005

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Customers who used the bill changing machine at Bluffs Run Casino found they had bigger payoffs than any gambling device in the place.

That's because the machine was spitting out hundreds instead of twenties.

"It went on for about six hours," said the casino's finance director, Janae Sternberg. When the machine was shut down, it turned up $46,640 short.

State records say casino employee Judith Roederer-Dillard -- who has since been fired -- mistakenly placed the $100 bills in the machine about 5 a.m. Dec. 18.

"You know, some of the guests had figured out that there was a malfunction and they went back -- over and over and over," Sternberg testified at Roederer-Dillard's unemployment-benefits hearing.

Casino spokeswoman Christie Scott said Thursday that the casino reviewed surveillance tapes to try to recover some of the money but had little luck.

Administrative law judge Teresa K. Hillary awarded Roederer-Dillard full unemployment benefits, saying there was no evidence of deliberate misconduct.

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