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Arizona Charities Hit the Jackpot - An Unusual Jackpot Story!

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 08:16

The jackpot stories are a joy to read: after all, who wouldn't want to walk away with a couple of million after putting maybe a euro or two towards a go at the slot machines. However, what happens to jackpots that aren't claimed? Yes, some jackpots are never claimed.

Arizona casino has the answer


A casino in Arizona in the United States decided to write a great jackpot story itself: in early August the casino chain announced that it was giving away all unclaimed jackpot prizes to various charities.
“It is our privilege to provide these funds to such incredible non-profit organizations that benefit the lives of Arizonans,” commented Kenneth Manuel, CEO of Gila River Gaming Enterprises.

In order to receive a share of the jackpot funds, charities were able to apply to Gila River Gaming Enterprises until 18 August. All Arizona-based registered charities were given the chance to apply to Gila. Those that have successfully applied will receive an equal share of the total unclaimed annual jackpots.

The company, however, will not provide us with the exact details of their very generous jackpot story: Gila does not disclose the amount of their annual unclaimed jackpot fund.

More and more unclaimed jackpots up for grabs


The fact, that Gila expanded its unclaimed jackpot giveaway to charities statewide this year, goes to show that the concept is working.
“Last year, we were proud to fund several non-profit organizations,” commented the public relations manager, Teaya Vicente of Gila.

Vicente highlighted the Blackwater School as an example. “The Blackwater School used the donation for physical education equipment for their students." While far and few millions remain unclaimed, Blackwater School shows that every little helps.

Gila operates three facilities within the Arizona area, namely the Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte, and Vee Quiva. At these premises, players and gamblers have 180 days to claim their prizes that they won on video poker, slots and many other casino games, and if they do not the jackpots can legally be distributed to the charities.

Subject to license


The jackpot-goes-to-charity concept makes sense and it is somewhat surprising that not more jackpot stories end like this. However, the ability to give jackpots to charity is sometimes hindered by law.

For example, in Nevada customers also have 180 days time to cash their money. However, in Nevada, a large proportion of unclaimed jackpot funds go to the government, by law!
"That policy is part of a bill that Assemblyman William Horne, (D-Las Vegas) got passed in 2011 that mandates 75 percent of the collected revenue goes into the general fund and 25 percent stays with the casinos," explains a legal expert.

Given that some $35 million was reportedly not retrieved over a five-year period up to 2016, the charities in Nevada are seriously missing out on their very own jackpot story. According to the report, players sometimes simply forget about their jackpot or they cannot claim their jackpots due to slips that were lost or destroyed by mistake.