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What Does "Malfunction Voids All Pays And Plays" Mean?

If you have ever been to a land-based casino to play slot games, you may have seen the words "Malfunction Voids All Pays And Plays" displayed on the machines, usually at the bottom. It also appears in online slots and casino games on the loading screen or the paytable.

Simply put, in the unfortunate event of a slot machine malfunction, all pay will be void. So, if you have won money but the slot malfunctioned, you will not receive your payout.

In this post, we will delve deeper into what "Malfunction Voids All Pays And Plays" means, can casinos refuse to pay you, and what happens if a casino doesn't pay.

What Does "Malfunction Voids All Pays And Plays" Mean?

Imagine you are playing one of your favourite slot games, and it starts malfunctioning. There may be issues with the display or any number of issues. The slot may even display a win amount through all of the technical difficulties. However, due to the slot malfunctioning, it will not award payouts, which is what this phrase warns players of.

Since the slot malfunctioned, it's clear that it wasn't working as designed, so there isn't a guarantee that the win was still down to chance. As a result, the casino has to rectify the issue to ensure that the slot won't continue to malfunction and that it works as designed. Part of this includes not awarding payouts on malfunctioned spins. 

However, you typically get refunded your stake amount for the malfunctioned spin.

Can Casinos Refuse To Pay You?

Yes, casinos can refuse to pay you. That may sound unfair, but let us explain. In the event of a malfunction - provided the casino states clearly that "Malfunction Voids All Pays And Plays" - casinos are within their rights to refuse to pay you.

Malfunctions can happen in any device that uses mechanical or electrical functions, including slot machines, and any winnings generated from a malfunction may not have occurred otherwise. This would be unfair to the casino since it hasn't occurred within the natural randomness of the game.

While it can be heartbreaking to be denied money you believed you won, you did not actually win it as it was displayed due to malfunction, so you are not entitled to it. Therefore, casinos can refuse to pay it.

What Happens If A Casino Doesn't Pay?

First, you must remember that casinos want to pay you. So, they would not refuse to pay you without a very good reason, provided you played at a reputable, licensed and regulated casino. In fact, there aren't a lot of cases where casinos have refused to pay.

Talking about casinos wanting to pay you, let's take the case of Robert Taylor, a tourist in Las Vegas who won close to $230,000 (£192,000). However, due to an error from the slot machine, Mr Taylor wasn't notified of his jackpot win.

As soon as the error was spotted, the casino personnel notified the gaming officials, who then launched a search for the man. If casinos were trying to rob players of their wins, this casino would not have tried to find and alert Mr Taylor of his win.

Therefore, if the casino refuses to pay you out, there would be a very good reason for it. But, be that as it may, if you feel like you are entitled to the pay, you can lodge a complaint with the Gambling Commission and, in extreme cases, file a lawsuit. 

Ultimately, the inclusion of the phrase "malfunction voids all pays and plays" is a disclaimer to warn players ahead of time to avoid disappointment if the slot malfunctions and appears to show a win.