How do you say 'PR' in the Tiwa Language?

Thomas Lifson
A patron at the Sandia Resort and Casino was playing a slot machine when it indicated a $1.6 million jackpot, according to ABC News (hat tip: Drudge).  But the lucky gambler, Gary Hoffman, hit hard luck when it came to getting the Indian reservation casino to pay off.  No dice, as it were. The casino claims that it was a computer malfunction on the electronic-laden one armed bandit.
"I won money, fair and square, and I've been cheated out of my winnings," Hoffman told ABC News.
He has a poor chance of obtaining legal redress. ABC News writes:
Native American tribes, as independent nations, have their own court systems and can be sued in state courts only under limited circumstances. New Mexico law generally does not allow tribes to be sued in a state court over a contract dispute, Kleiman said.

Hoffman's lawyers say they should be able to sue the tribe over what they call big business. "They spent millions of dollars getting these customers, these gamblers, to come in and gamble money, then when someone hits it big, they say, 'Sorry, we are not going to pay you," said Hoffman's lawyer, Sam Bregman. "The jury is going to be outraged by that."
The casino and the slot machine manufacturer have a plausible explanation, and call it a software problem. Everyone I know who has a computer has stories of computer malfunctions.

The stakes of the Indian gaming industry dwarf Mr. Hoffman's claimed bonanza. I wonder how long it is going to take their trade association to realize that they could collectively lose billions in the long run? When the word gets out that the tribes can treat their customers with impunity and refuse to pay off the dream jackpot because they are beyond the reach of the law, it is going to be a lot tougher to peddle the fantasy of winning. The picture Mr. Hoffman took of himself with the screen proclaiming the jackpot behind him is powerful stuff. That very fantasy drives their customer traffic. The story that this lucky man never collected is a dream-killer. 

There is another set of casinos which is subject to American law. How much is it worth to them for people to know the sad tale of Gary Hoffman? If the tribes prevail, Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City casinos should fall all over themselves comping him room, meals and chips for televised gambling sprees, safe in a place where they always pay off. If Atlantic City's mayor is not otherwise indisposed, he could hand him the keys to the city, noting that New Jersey law will protect him.

The Tiwa-speaking Sandia Pueblo tribe and all the other casino-owning tribes certainly do not want to give up the extraterritorial advantages they get by exemption from various laws and regulations, so they may be reluctant to submit this kind of case to American courts.

They need to take a hard look at the PR cost to them of not paying off. If the trade association split the cost, it would be trivial. They might want to throw in a few million more to spend on R&D to make sure their slot machines never do this again.
A patron at the Sandia Resort and Casino was playing a slot machine when it indicated a $1.6 million jackpot, according to ABC News (hat tip: Drudge).  But the lucky gambler, Gary Hoffman, hit hard luck when it came to getting the Indian reservation casino to pay off.  No dice, as it were. The casino claims that it was a computer malfunction on the electronic-laden one armed bandit.
"I won money, fair and square, and I've been cheated out of my winnings," Hoffman told ABC News.
He has a poor chance of obtaining legal redress. ABC News writes:
Native American tribes, as independent nations, have their own court systems and can be sued in state courts only under limited circumstances. New Mexico law generally does not allow tribes to be sued in a state court over a contract dispute, Kleiman said.

Hoffman's lawyers say they should be able to sue the tribe over what they call big business. "They spent millions of dollars getting these customers, these gamblers, to come in and gamble money, then when someone hits it big, they say, 'Sorry, we are not going to pay you," said Hoffman's lawyer, Sam Bregman. "The jury is going to be outraged by that."
The casino and the slot machine manufacturer have a plausible explanation, and call it a software problem. Everyone I know who has a computer has stories of computer malfunctions.

The stakes of the Indian gaming industry dwarf Mr. Hoffman's claimed bonanza. I wonder how long it is going to take their trade association to realize that they could collectively lose billions in the long run? When the word gets out that the tribes can treat their customers with impunity and refuse to pay off the dream jackpot because they are beyond the reach of the law, it is going to be a lot tougher to peddle the fantasy of winning. The picture Mr. Hoffman took of himself with the screen proclaiming the jackpot behind him is powerful stuff. That very fantasy drives their customer traffic. The story that this lucky man never collected is a dream-killer. 

There is another set of casinos which is subject to American law. How much is it worth to them for people to know the sad tale of Gary Hoffman? If the tribes prevail, Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City casinos should fall all over themselves comping him room, meals and chips for televised gambling sprees, safe in a place where they always pay off. If Atlantic City's mayor is not otherwise indisposed, he could hand him the keys to the city, noting that New Jersey law will protect him.

The Tiwa-speaking Sandia Pueblo tribe and all the other casino-owning tribes certainly do not want to give up the extraterritorial advantages they get by exemption from various laws and regulations, so they may be reluctant to submit this kind of case to American courts.

They need to take a hard look at the PR cost to them of not paying off. If the trade association split the cost, it would be trivial. They might want to throw in a few million more to spend on R&D to make sure their slot machines never do this again.