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Today Tonight -

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(generated from captions) Imagine this - a $1 credit on a pokie machine. you're at the casino, you see You give it a spin and you win more than $100,000, you're not entitled to the money. then the casino tells you that to a pensioner. That's exactly what's happened she has plenty of support. As Frank Pangallo reports, and get some coins. I thought I would go still sitting in the machine So when I came back, the dollar will I or won't I? so I was in two minds - And I pressed it to clear it. I heard a dunk, then it went dunk, dunk, dunk in a row. and all these ladies came up Masked ladies. That was the jackpot. Cecilia Cubillo Battling 74-year-old pensioner playing her favourite pokie thought she'd struck it rich last year. at Adelaide's SKYCITY Casino How did you feel then? Oh, really, really bewildered, What can I do? What will I do? Utterly amazed. there was no-one else around. Walking around in circles because But her joy soon turned to dismay when casino security told her of almost $106,000. she wouldn't be paid the jackpot The security was nearby, by finding the winnings and then one said this is theft the cops are coming." and I thought, "Oh, my goodness me, she played a $1 credit she found Cecilia had innocently told them on the abandoned machine. It just happens. leaving those coins in the machine. People just walk away, I guess There wasn't any reserve sign also for anybody to play. so it was quite open Well, not according to the casino and respected which accused the greatly admired with two university degrees Aboriginal community elder of theft, larceny by finding. citing a vague, old law - the casino tried it on I can't believe of larceny by finding. by accusing this woman to 19th century English cases That dates back To me, it's fun. I have fun at the casino. any intents or purposes to steal. I don't go to there with The casino has bought itself of publicity. a negative $105,000 worth Or a lot more than that. cut their losses and pay up. They really should Senator Nick Xenophon says No pokies crusader, the casino's unprecedented action on gaming machines over abandoned credits opens up a legal can of worms. it will go to the courts If they don't pay up, senior barristers in Adelaide and there are many good lawyers, for Cecelia willing to take up the fight and do it on a pro bono basis. In its interpretation of the law, government operating regulations SKYCITY insists it's following rigid of its own gaming rules yet it flies in the face Given the way markets itself - people to try their luck, live large, the way it encourages taking this approach. It's extraordinary What did she take? Nothing. if they take nothing out of there? How can you call a person a thief That's ridiculous. To add insult to injury, a $250 food voucher SKYCITY later offered Cecilia member status in its loyalty scheme, then upgraded her to gold sending her letters like this one: and advocate Diana Awara says Cecilia's long-time friend They are like insurance companies. They want you to pay no, sorry, see you later. but when it comes to pay out - I think it's very unfair. I want my money. with a placard I have been tempted to go there you know? and say, "I want my money," an apology from them. In the very least, she'd also like To me, that hurt me called a thief. and really, I don't want to be at the highest level. The casino needs to apologise New Zealand, their headquarters, Their CEO needs to fly over from in person and apologise to this woman for what she's gone through do the right thing and they should also for the full amount of the jackpot. and hand over a cheque