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Slot machine punter accepts one million settlement

Casino bosses who offered just a meal voucher to a punter after rejecting his 40 million slot machine win have now agreed to cough up a million to settle the claim.

Behar Merlaku, 26 - who had demanded 5 million GBP in Feldkirch, Austria - told judges he was prepared to accept the lower offer.

Casino managers claim the win was never valid and came about because of a "software error" in the machine.

Merlaku, from Switzerland, said he plans to use the cash to pay for an operation for his physically disabled new born baby.

He said his infant son Erion - born with a facial defect caused by the stress of the ordeal - needs the expensive plastic surgery to give him a normal appearance.

Instead of the 40 million payout he was told his win at the Bregenz Casino in Austria was invalid because of a "software error" in the slot machine.

Merlaku’s Austrian lawyer Thomas Kerle said Merlaku had accused Casinos Austria of refusing to let independent experts check the slot machine in question. He also criticised the police for doing too little in investigating the case.

The Casino agreed an out-of-court settlement which local media reported was a million pounds.

Casino spokesman Martin Himmelbauer, 44, admitted the amount had been displayed but said: "We wanted to apologise but he did not want to co-operate. We offered to pay out the cash (60GBP) that he did win, but he refused to accept it.

"Usually these matters are sorted out with a meal for two but in this case the man was not prepared to settle for anything less than the full payment."

The case mirrored that of Louise Chavez who had a similar experience while using a slot machine at the Fortune Valley Casino, in Central City, Colorado.

Chavez thought she had won 20 million GBP but after the casino claimed the machine malfunctioned, all Chavez got was a few dollars, some free meals and a room for the night.

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