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Regulators investigating Four Queens, Binion’s slots malfunction

Updated February 28, 2020 - 5:34 pm

State Gaming Control Board agents are investigating the unexplained malfunction of computers and slot machines at downtown’s Four Queens and Binion’s Gambling Hall casinos.

“We are actively monitoring the situation,” a Control Board spokesman said in a Friday email. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we have no further comment.”

Spokespeople from the 53-year-old Four Queens, which has an 18-story hotel with 690 rooms and a 27,269-square-foot casino, did not return requests for comment Friday.

Customers parking vehicles in the Four Queens parking garage were met with a sign that said, “Computer Systems are Down. Cash Only.”

Inside, it was a surreal scene. Many of the video poker machine screens had “OUT OF SERVICE” messages. Other slot machines had “out of order” tabs over the top of their currency validators to prevent players from putting money into a malfunctioning slot.

A few rows of machines were functioning, including several bar-top slots. Most of the table games had traffic as patrons continued to play blackjack, roulette and craps.

Without the continual sound effects of the slot machines, the musical soundtrack over the public address system was audible.

Several customers were shuffling along, looking at the blank screens, while floor cashiers chatted with each other and speculated when the machines would be back up.

The scene was similar at Binion’s — lively action at the tables, but inactive slot machines abandoned.

Robert Miedler, a Detroit native who lives in Nevada during the winters, shared a picture with the Review-Journal showing a sign posted at Binion’s telling guests that “computer systems are down” and the property is only accepting cash — no coupons, comps or credit cards.

“It’s like a ghost town,” he said. “You can’t play on the floor because three-fourths of the machines are offline.”

Miedler told the Review-Journal he checked out of the Four Queens Friday and saw slot machines not working at both properties the last three days of his five-day stay.

He tried to extend his stay at the property another night but said Four Queens staff told him Friday that wasn’t possible.

“I had to check out because they don’t know if they have rooms available,” he said. “As I left, (their computers) were still down. They’re still hand-checking people out.”

Miedler said table games and machines at the bars were still working, but players had to be hand-paid to cash out.

“It takes about half an hour (to cash out),” he said. “I asked when they expected to be up and they said later today, but they’ve been saying that for three days now.”

The privately held Four Queens has been owned by Terry Caudill’s TLC Casino Enterprises since 2003. The company also owns Binion’s, acquired in 2008. Binion’s, across Fremont Street and Casino Center Drive from Four Queens, has a 77,800-square-foot casino and in July opened 81 rooms as the boutique Apache Hotel, its historic name.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter. Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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