Gambler wins Aston Martin, casino shuffles on delivery
In May 2016, the Viejas Casino and Resort awarded a 2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT to Merida Manipoun after she won a contest at the casino. Despite her willingness to pay the necessary taxes on the $134,000 vehicle, the casino repeatedly attempted to strong-arm her into taking a significantly less valuable prize. Now, the California resident has brought a lawsuit against Viejas.
After Manipoun won the vehicle, according to the suit, she was escorted into a back room where casino managers repeatedly attempted to convince her that it was in her best interest to accept a prize of much-lower value, due to the tax implications. She resisted the sales tactics and continuously opted for the car. The casino continues to stall on delivery, but they did give something else to Manipoun - the tax bill for the Vantage. She went to the dealership that supposedly was providing the luxury vehicle, only to be informed that there was no record of her having won a vehicle. This, despite the fact that the casino gave her the tax bill.
While it seems that it should be a fairly cut-and-dry case, the casino is on tribal property. This affords the casino certain protections against lawsuits. Due to the immunity, Manipoun is going directly after several casino employees, including the gaming activities manager and a casino host, as well as the Aston Martin dealership. The defendants, with the exception of the dealership, are being accused of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and breach of contract. The dealership is being sued for breach of contract.