It’s not uncommon for frustrated video slot machine players to blame the machines for their misfortune and take it out on them. Punching the screens may provide some momentary satisfaction, but it could mean even greater losses – in the form of charges for slot machine repairs, bills for hand injuries, and even jail time.

Battering slot machines would be especially ill-advised if the machines were capable of fighting back. Believe it or not, a Canton, Ohio, woman with the apt name of Battering insists she was the victim of one exceptionally hostile machine at the Mountaineer Casino in New Cumberland more than two years ago.

Did Sheila Battering do something to incur the wrath of this video slot machine on Aug. 11, 2011? Did she initiate the altercation, striking the first blow after a frustrating loss and prompting the machine to defend itself, the machine being unable to retreat and having no choice but to stand its ground?

Did she precipitate the machine’s attack in some other way -- perhaps hurling epithets known to be offensive to slots, such as the venomous “one-armed bandit” -- or was the attack completely unprovoked?

In other words, was Battering battering or being battered?

So far, all we’ve heard is Battering’s account of the incident, but it’s bound to be more entertaining than the casino’s version. She claims the machine struck her with its “face.” (If you ever had someone hit your fist with his face, you’ll have no trouble believing this.)

According to Battering, she was sitting there playing a game when the machine’s face fell forward and hit her. Now, two years later, she has filed suit against the casino in Hancock County Circuit Court, seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

Win or lose, Mountaineer Casino should certainly look into anger management classes for its video slot machines.

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