Man Sues Sandia Casino, Alleging It Did Not Pay Jackpot

Sandia Pueblo – A Bernalillo County man has sued Sandia Resort & Casino, alleging it failed to pay him a jackpot of nearly USD 1.6 million last year.

Gary Hoffman said he thought he was the luckiest man in the state when he hit the jackpot on August 16, 2006. But when the casino refused to pay, „I realized on that day that I was the unluckiest man in New Mexico,“ he said.

Hoffman is seeking the winnings plus punitive damages.

Sandia Pueblo officials could not be reached Monday by The Associated Press for comment.

Hoffman, in a lawsuit filed in state district court in Albuquerque last week, said he’d won several bonus rounds on the Mystical Mermaid slot machine when it indicated he had won USD 1,597,244.10.

Casino employees and other players congratulated Hoffman, but when other casino employees ushered him into a room, he was told „in a threatening and intimidating manner that he would not be paid,“ the lawsuit said.

Hoffman went through the casino’s grievance and appeal process, but still was not paid, the lawsuit said.

Hoffman alleges the casino violated the Unfair Trade Practices Act.

The lawsuit also alleges breach of contract, saying that by playing the slot machine, Hoffman entered into a contract with the casino in which the casino was obliged to pay the amounts awarded.