Vice Squad
Friday, October 26, 2007
Bonfire of the Vanities, Indiana Style

What is it about goods associated with vice that makes authorities of various sorts want to destroy those goods, in public or with witnesses, if possible? Bonfires in Pakistan, crushing by a "double-roller" in Oregon -- and today, we learn that an Indiana judge has sentenced a man convicted of a gambling crime to pay some restitution. Oh, and to watch as the 38 gambling machines that were taken from his nightclub are destroyed, of course.

Meanwhile, it is a legal gambling machine that has a New Mexico man in a bit of a lather, understandably. The nickel-slot machine announced that he had won a jackpot worth more than one and a half million dollars. Casino authorities soon informed him, however, that he hadn't really won. The machine was just kidding, or rather, malfunctioning, and the rule written right there on the machine says that if the machine kids, winnings are voided. The disappointed gambling man is not folding yet; he is suing, but the case is complicated by the fact that New Mexico is unlikely to have jurisdiction, as the dodgy slot machine is located on a Native American reservation. [Thanks to Overlawyered for the pointer.]

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