Casino says machine malfunctioned Gambler hits $1.4M jackpot
Casino machine malfunctioned :
The gambler sued the casino in the tribal court of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. But the suit was dismissed. The court declared that sovereign immunity prevailed—that the tribe was an independent nation and immune from being sued.
“They said they were immune to any kind of fraud that I made in the complaint,” the gambler’s attorney, Matt Abbott, told Ars in a telephone interview. “They said rules don’t apply to them, [and] ‘have a nice day.'”
Unable to lodge a claim in tribal court, Rape rolled the dice with Alabama’s state courts and sued the tribe there. On Friday, seven years after Rape thought he had hit the jackpot, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that Rape could not sue the tribe in state court—the proper venue was tribal court. That’s because the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is a nation of itself, and that’s where disputes occurring on that land should be litigated, the court found.
The Alabama high court noted that it found itself in a “Catch-22” of sorts. It said it couldn’t decide the dispute even if the tribe wasn’t entitled to sovereign immunity.
“The activity out of which Rape’s claim arose, however, was gambling. If it occurred on land within the regulatory and adjudicative jurisdiction of the State of Alabama, that activity was illegal. Specifically, that land is located in Elmore County and, therefore, is not located in one of the counties in Alabama where even the game commonly and traditionally known as bingo is permitted,” the court ruled. (PDF)
The casino is on tribal land operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. To the gambler’s amazement, “several noises, lights, and sirens were activated” when the machine announced that Jerry Rape had hit The Big One. He wasn’t getting the monster payout.