On April 15, Pasqua DiGianni visited the Seneca Niagara Casino and hit a $1,400 slot jackpot that she was forced to forfeit due to a self-barring contract she signed two years ago. 69 year-old DiGianni signed the self-barring document due to a rough night at the slot machines, after she hit the jackpot and proceeded to play slots until she lost it all.
Although DiGianni signed the contract under her own will power, she clearly did not learn from her mistake. Her most recent $1,400 jackpot was won after putting a minimum of $600 into a single slot machine. Upon reaching the cashier’s window she was identified and denied her winnings by casino management. DiGianni was refunded her $600 for the money she wasted on the slot machine, although she argues that she spent more than twice that amount. To add insult to injury, management at the Seneca Niagara called the police, who charged her with trespassing. Today DiGianni went to court for breaking an agreement that she made.
DiGianni claims she played the same $1 slot machine long enough to lose $400. After that she just didn’t know when to stop. She left the machine to return to the cashier to get another $500, and then another $400 after that. DiGianni admits to signing the document that barred her from the casino, but said she received a letter within the last year inviting her to return. “If I didn’t win that jackpot, they wouldn’t know anyway (that I was there),” she said in an Interview with The Buffalo News.
After continuously playing the minimum chance, DiGianni finally tried her luck with the maximum $45 play button, which is when she hit the jackpot. She believes she should have been given a warning and claims that she didn’t know that she was still barred. Her arrest, however, coincides with the casino’s policy, which states that after a year, those who have barred themselves from the casino may ask in writing for reinstatement. The casino also states that if a person who has been voluntarily excluded enters the premises while under exclusion, he/she is subject to arrest for trespassing and any winnings will be forfeited.
DiGianni, a native of Toronto, admits her and her husband stop at the Niagra Falls casino when visiting relatives in the Buffalo area but never visits other casinos. She even went as far as to accuse Americans of being “troublemakers” for making such a big news story out of her trespassing.