Mum Spends £100 on Claw Machine to Win Stuffed Toy for Baby Son

  • Mum tells of seaside holiday gaming problems
  • Spent £100 to win a stuffed toy for baby son
  • Only managed to get hold of one when a staff member changed settings
claw machine
A claw game proved pricey for mum on holiday, Cheryl Holden, who spent £100 to try and win a soft toy for her son.

No-win situation

A woman on holiday in East Sussex, UK, has blasted the holiday park where she stayed after spending £100 ($125) trying to win a stuffed toy for her son.

While at Camber Sands Holiday Park, Cheryl Holden tried her luck at the ‘4 goes for a £1 ($1.25)’ claw machine. The 34-year-old said she became frustrated when, after spending between £35 ($44) and £40 ($50), she was still no closer to winning any of the teddies.

Changed settings

It was then she reported the machine to staff, who she said looked at the machine and “changed the setting”. This allowed her to grab a Dumbo stuffed toy on her next go. After a successful win, the assistant reportedly switched the settings once more.

However, not content with her first toy, Holden went on to try and win another. She said, “All the ones you have there aren’t the ones you can get in a shop, they are the sort you would have to order online.”

The mother went on to spend another £60 over the next few days while staying at the site, entering pound after pound at the machine but still unable to win anything. Once again, she made the decision to complain to staff.

I was not abusive or anything. I raised my voice because I was angry, but I was trying to make it clear to other parents it’s not possible to win a teddy bear and it’s rigged.”

Holden then tried to take the matter further after spotting a manager’s number while in the office making her complaint, but was angry when the said manager laughed at her on the phone.

She continued, “I asked when would this be getting resolved. He said, ‘How did you get my number?’ He laughed it off and said my complaint form won’t be going anywhere.”

A disappointing experience

While Holden’s son is still young at only 5 months old, she believes that this experience would have disappointed him. She said, “I think if he was old enough, he would probably be upset.”

The manager confirmed that the mother’s experience wasn’t unique, and allegedly told Holden:

You can put as much money in, £100, but you still won’t win it.”

“Committed to keeping crime out of gaming”

The amusement arcade is owned by Playnation, who are currently looking into the complaint. The people and social responsibility director confirmed that Playnation are highly regulated and take their license obligations very seriously. He added,

“We are fully committed to keeping crime out of gaming, ensuring gambling is conducted in a fair and open way and to protecting children and other vulnerable adults from being harmed or exploited.”