A gambler who thought his luck was in after hitting the jackpot on a casino slot machine has seen his dreams royally flushed away after the venue claimed the machine suffered a "malfunction" and he was not eligible for a payout.
Jerry Rape, from Alabama, believed he was the winner of a life-changing $1.37 million jackpot after putting $5 in an electronic bingo machine at the Wind Creek Casino. However, despite the bells, sirens and lights indicating to the stunned gambler he had stuck lucky, the casino took Rape's 'winning' ticket and 24-hours later dealt him the bad news that the machine was faulty.
As any punter would, Rape took the case to a tribal court to sue the Wind Creek Casino's owners in the hope of getting his hands on the cash which he believed he won fair and square.
However, the odds were against Rape as the venue's location proved pivotal in seeing the unlucky man miss out on his payout.
The casino in Montgomery, Alabama is located on tribal land and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Despite directly suing the tribe, his case was dismissed under the grounds that sovereign immunity meant the tribe was an independent nation and could not be sued.
Not willing to settle, Rape then decided to take the matter to the Alabama state court in a legal battle spanning over seven years. It was finally ruled that Rape could not sue the tribe in the state court either, claiming cases involving the Poarch tribe must be handled in tribal court – something that already had failed.
"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 documents read.
For Rape, it appears his chances of getting his winnings have all but disappeared with his lawyer claiming all other legal avenues have been closed.