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Indian Casino Refuses To Pay Out, Says Rules Don't Apply After Man Hits $1.4 Million Jackpot

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Source -  Casinos exist for one reason, and one reason alone: to take your money. They do it legally, even if it’s under cloudy circumstances. Consider the case of an Alabama man who put $5 into an electronic bingo machine at the Wind Creek Casino in Montgomery, Alabama. The casino is on tribal land operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. To the gambler’s amazement, Jerry Rape had settled on a “payout multiplier” of $1,377,000, according to the gambler’s lawsuit.

The casino took Rape’s payout ticket and made him wait for about 24 hours before saying no dice. He wasn’t getting the monster payout. The machine, he was told by the tribe’s casino, had “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.'”

It is well established that this Court will not aid a plaintiff seeking to recover under an illegal contract but, instead, will simply leave the parties where it finds them. This is the third time we’ve seen a gambler hit an enormous jackpot only to be told that it won’t be paid because the jackpot was a result of an electronic “malfunction.”

So let me get this straight: man walks into casino, hits the Jackpot. Casino makes man wait twenty-four hours before telling him said jackpot was a result of a malfunction. Man takes casino to tribal court, tribal court says rules don’t apply to sovereign nations. Takes them to the Alabama Supreme court who defers back to tribal court. Got it. Main take away being, don’t gamble at an Indian casino and expect to get paid.

This is the third time in the past few years that the Alabama Supreme Court’s seen cases involving jackpots and malfunctioning machines. Seems to me like they would’ve fixed the problem after the first time, but it may be more lucrative to keep letting them fuck up. I understand that they’re a sovereign nation but they can’t have it both ways. If they’re going to make American money they need to play by American rules. In other words, PROVE IT. Tribal immunity is an essential part of Native American nations, but it doesn’t belong in casinos. Not only is it bad for gamblers, it’s bad for casinos. Every time they refuse a pay out, they lose customers. Valuable, Virginia-Slim smoking, nickel-slot-playing, oxygen-mask-wearing customers. The kinds of customers who play slots not because they can, but because they have to. To them slots aren’t a hobby, they’re a motivator, a reminder to move off the couch so they don’t become fused to it.

I feel bad for Jerry Rape (terrible name). He fought the good fight for seven years and never stood a chance. And in that time probably lost another $1.4 million. Craziest part being the lawsuit was essentially squashed before it began. The government doesn’t fuck with Indians (anymore). It’s a tough pill to swallow if you’re Jerry but there’s nothing you can do.