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Big Money, Big Luck

An unexpected cocktail, going batty on the Boardwalk and beginners luck.

Big Money, Big Luck

Would you drink cleaning fluid for $8 million?

A jury awarded $8 million last month to a man who was served a chemical cleaning compound instead of beer at a Henderson bar and casino.

The incident at the heart of this particular lawsuit occurred in December 2018, when a 38-year-old special education teacher was given a sample of Honey Blonde Ale at a casino/brew pub, and something just didn’t seem right. In fact, he became violently ill.

It turns out the Honey Blonde Ale contained a good dose of chemicals used to clean bar taps—potassium hydroxide and nonylphenol polyethylene glycol ether, to be exact.


According to news reports, the casino offered to settle for $300,000. Good thing he didn’t take it, because the jury handed him $3 million for the damage already done plus $5 million for future damages.

Which brings me back to my initial question. Hey, for $8 million, I’ll drink cleaning fluid right now. Call it Honey Blonde Potassium Hydroxide. Serve it up. Neat, with a water back.

Meanwhile, back in Atlantic City, Boardwalk visitors are getting pictures taken with Batman. OK, he’s not the real Batman. (Is there even a real Batman? Since Adam West died, I mean.) This Batman is actually a dishwasher at one of the casinos, but he’s gotten himself a spot-on, cinema-worthy Batman costume, and he evidently roams around inviting tourists to snap pictures with him.

In an interview with the local newspaper, “AC Batman,” as he’s known, said he doesn’t actually fight crime, but he “would get involved and assist if someone needs help.”

Yes, a dish-washing superhero. All he needs is proper archvillains to battle. The Busboy Joker. Bathroom Attendant Penguin. Mr. Freeze, Housekeeping Attendant.

AC Batman still needs a sidekick, though. Where’s AC Robin?

“Holy Brillo Pad, Batman!”

In any event, I’ll be looking for AC Batman the next time I’m on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. It will be fun. Normally, the only people who approach me on the Boardwalk either want me to give them money, or want to give me a ride on a rolling chair, and then give them a lot of money.

Maybe AC Batman can get a rolling chair. I bet he’d make big profits. (Hey, I’m always thinking.)

Moving on, as we all know, success in a casino depends a great deal on that mystical concept known as luck. I play games with low house edges like video poker and craps, but still, considering the 30-odd years I’ve been going to casinos, I’d say luck has been present, maybe, half the time. I’ve lost as much as I’ve won.

Real luck, it seems, visits the novice gambler more than the experienced gaming strategist. Just look at the “winner” pictures in the back of the gambling magazines. The lady pictured behind that oversized check invariably says she doesn’t play slots, but decided to put a few bucks in, and after three spins, hit the 50 million-to-one progressive.

While I’m laboring to win $20 in a three-hour video poker session, my wife will sample a new penny slot, and she’ll come back in a few minutes waving a $1,000 cash-out ticket. Luck visits my lovely bride often. We were even walking around a Las Vegas casino once when she insisted throwing a fiver down on the Big 6 wheel. I begged her not to do it, informing her that the odds of winning at Big 6 were about the same as the odds that Wayne Newton was going to appear in a casino uniform to spin the wheel while singing “Danke Schoen” to her.

Naturally, the wheel landed on the 45-to-1 spot. A lucky $225 that defied all reason and convinced my wife to never listen to my advice on gambling. (Or anything else, for that matter.)

“Danke shoen, Darling, danke shoen…”

And then there’s the story of the grandmother who broke a world’s record for the longest craps roll. It was only the second time she ever played craps when she stepped up to the table at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City. She was passed the dice, started rolling, kept making the point, and kept rolling for four hours and 18 minutes before she sevened out. She had the dice for 154 rolls in all, and walked away with tens of thousands in winnings.

Luck like that never seems to visit me. I want to keep rolling for hours. I want a big check after three spins of the reels.

It’s enough to make a guy drink cleaning fluid.

Oh well, I’ll see you on the Boardwalk. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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