Monday, February 11, 2008

Indian casino cheats patron with their sovereign immunity

Once again we have a tribe playing their sovereign immunity card, kind of like a "get out of jail free" card in Monopoly. Only Monopoly is a level playing field where everyone has to play by the same rules. Casino tribes don't play by the same rules governing the rest of us. They get to ignore planning departments, OSHA regulations, fair labor practices, taxes, environmental laws AND still get free health benefits paid by you and me while individually making monthly incomes of ten, twenty, forty thousand dollars a month or more depending on the tribe.

Judge dismisses jackpot lawsuit against Sandia casino
The Associated Press
Article Launched: 02/04/2008 05:09:19 PM MST


ALBUQUERQUE—A state district judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Bernalillo County man who accused Sandia Resort & Casino of not paying him a jackpot of nearly $1.6 million.

Gary Hoffman claimed he was playing a slot machine in August 2006 when hit the jackpot. The casino refused to pay, saying the machine wasn't working properly and that Hoffman had actually won about $400.

Hoffman alleged the casino violated the Unfair Trade Practices Act and he sued for the jackpot winnings plus punitive damages.

Paul Bardacke, an attorney representing Sandia Pueblo, argued that the tribe couldn't be sued in state district court because of sovereign immunity, and Judge Linda Vanzi agreed during a hearing Monday.

Hoffman's attorney, Sam Bregman, said he will appeal the ruling.

Bregman argued that tribal sovereignty wasn't meant to protect tribes from luring people to their casinos and then cheating them out of their winnings.

"This decision has national implications," he said. "There are billions of dollars at stake when it comes to Indian gaming and the idea that they never have to be held accountable is very troubling."


previously on TribalWatch:
Ripped off on the Reservation

1 comment:

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