Myths vs. Reality

What Happens When a Slot Breaks During a Bonus?

Gold Fish slot machine breakdown at Plaza
Written by Joshua

I’ve been playing slots a long time, but it was an unusual situation I found myself facing during my recent trip to Las Vegas when during a bonus, my slot suddenly popped up a Call Attendant message. I wasn’t even touching the machine at the time – I was in the middle of a free spins bonus.

To the credit of the late night team at Plaza Las Vegas, where this happens, they tried all sorts of things, from resetting doors to restarting the machine, but the message would not go away.

The reality is each casino has to some degree control over what happens next. Machines are marked with that famous saying “Malfunctions Void all Pays and Plays.” The baseline would be for a casino to refund the money in the machine and call it a day. Casinos can choose to do more.

You see, machines are designed to recover back to where they were once restarted or fixed. They know exactly where they are, and these systems are in place to ensure players can trust that regardless of whatever happens – a power failure, a machine glitch, or in my case a door open message that would not go away – the game can resume where it left off. In my case, being in the middle of a bonus round, that could be potentially lucrative.

So how did Plaza handle this? There was a two part response. First, they paid me what the balance was on my machine at the time it broke down. They told me that I’d get a call in the morning after the daytime slot technician fixed the machine and ran the bonus. They said the tech would be in at 9.

I had a call at 9:15 the next morning from the exact person they predicted would call me, telling me I could come pick up the money from my bonus. She was even apologetic because she was worried I might be sleeping in (which in my case I wasn’t).

Both the evening team and the morning team were incredibly friendly, explanatory and open about what was happening. I had mentioned the fear of the “Malfunctions Void All Pays and Plays” and she said while that was certainly an option, Plaza really strove to go above and beyond whenever possible. This was clearly the case here.

Positive experiences like this can reaffirm and reinforce an overall upbeat assessment of a property, similar to how a bad experience can drive or reinforce a negative one. In this case, having already had good experiences at Plaza in the past, this only reinforces things, even though there wasn’t a lot of money at stake in this case.

I really appreciate what everyone on the Plaza team did to resolve this issue in a way that was friendly to me as a player.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.


  • I’ve had the machines seemingly turn off and reboot in the middle of bonus rounds or other scenarios before, and they did indeed restore right back to where they left off and continue. Although, if the results are based on a random number derived from time of day, it seems like that would affect the outcome of spins that are not pre-determined.

    • Games will definitely have an issue and need to be rebooted – software isn’t perfect. It would change the timing for RNG-driven bonuses, but of course we will never really know if that made it better or worse! But the odds of any given outcome would still be the same.

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