The million judgment against the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians in California could force the tribe to close its Red Hawk Casino.
The tribe, which in December lost the case pursued by Sharp Image Gaming Inc. for breach of contract, tells the court that the 1,350 employees of the casino could lose their jobs if it is forced to pay the judgment right away. The tribe claims that its lenders will move to seize its cash if that happens. However, attorneys for Sharp Image are skeptical. They argue that it is in the best interests of the casino’s creditors to keep it open. “The tribe’s prediction of economic catastrophe is purely speculative,” they wrote in answer to the tribe’s request. The casino owes nearly $600 million to its creditors.
For now, the judge is doing nothing, but is expected to issue a ruling within a few weeks. For the tribe to appeal the judgment, it must post a bond of $45 million, or 150 percent of the judgment.
Sharp originally sued because, it said, the tribe did not honor an agreement to buy slot machines from the company.