Zamira Osorio, the daughter of jackpot winner Mirna Valenzuela, said Casino Del Sol Resort should put up a sign that they don’t want illegal immigrants playing at their casino. (Vanguardia)

Casino Del Sol Resort Jackpot Winner Deported to Mexico

ICTMN Staff
1/5/13

Soon after Mirna Valenzuela hit the $1,200 jackpot at Casino Del Sol Resort in Tuscon, Arizona on December 2, she was deported to Mexico.

When trying to claim her prize, casino staff asked Valenzuela and her daughter Zamira Osorio to shower their IDs. Federal law requires winners of $1,200 or more to show identification for tax purposes.

Casino authorities doubted the validity of their documentation and called Pascua Yaqui police, who confirmed the IDs were fraudulent. Reports contradict over who, casino agents or tribal police, contacted U.S. Border Patrol, which deported Valenzuela and released Osorio under the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DREAM act).  

“This is an unfortunate incident; something that happened, happened in the 20 years we’ve been in business,” Wendell Long, CEO of Casino Del Sol Resort, told CBS 12 News.

Casino officials said players do not have to be a U.S. citizen to win. Actually, the casino, located just 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, attracts a lot of their business from the neighboring country. On the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, the tribe doesn’t implement Arizona’s immigration law, officials told CBS 12 News. 

“We strongly embrace our Hispanic visitors, as well as all our visitors, and want to make sure that they feel safe and welcome at our properties,” Long told the news station.

"We hate to see anyone suffer any pain or grief," Long told KVOA.com. "We do not care if they are in the country legally or illegally. That's not what we do. We're here to provide great entertainment."

Long added, "If she had shown us her Mexican passport her valid Mexican passport there wouldn't have been any problem at all."

Osorio expressed her anger at the circumstances. “This is really unfair,” she told reporters. “We feel really discriminated [against]; we weren’t doing anything illegal. This is the first time I get arrested in my whole entire life.”

Osorio also said the casino should put up a sign that they don’t want illegal immigrants playing at their casino.

To KVOA.com, she said she was thankful the DREAM act protects her rights to stay and take care of her children and siblings. "That would have been a very bad situation for my children and brothers and sister," she said.

Valenzuela can still claim her winnings with a valid ID—from Mexico, Arizona or elsewhere. A casino spokesperson said they will set aside the money for her indefinitely. But her daughter said it is impossible for her mother to collect her winnings, because she has already been forced out of the country. 

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Osorio states that they weren't doing anything illegal. They had broken this Nations laws by entering it illegally.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
dat was a chicken shit move on dem dey shoulda gave dem their winnings but i bet they didnt!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Really?? You did nothing illegal, give me a break. People like her, give people who are trying to get here legally a bad name. I'm glad she was deported. good riddance.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
In the next to last paragraph, Osorio said that the DREAM act protects her and allows her to stay. But in the next paragraph her daughter says she was forced out of the country. That is confusing...I hope the DREAM act is protecting her.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
As rightly so - the tribe did the right thing - I agree - if peeps from Mexico win jackpots in the States - and they present the proper paperwork - like me from the States have to present my IDs to claim my prize - they win the prize. But if I presented fraudulent paperwork - I don't win. Very simple - so the tribe did the right thing. :)

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
you're there to take their money. be honest. you're not being all liberal and progressive; you're exploiting desperately poor people, enticing them to gamble. take off the halos and be honest. and learn to earn an honest living.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
We all have to show SS card when we hit a Jackpot over 1199.00 so we pay taxes on it. It goes on gross income !!!!!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Unfortunate incident? This is a shame and an example of how the rules of the dominant culture has infiltrated the practices of the indigenous to the point where we have become the same faceless, nameless, system. Elders have said we must be careful to keep our ways while we dance with the white moneymakers. Who are we becoming?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Hey, Ditz, you were using someone else's ID information. That's...um...FRAUD. SO YES, you WERE doing something illegal and YES, you ARE a criminal.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
If your an illegal then accept the fact you are breaking the law being anywhere in the US. If your going to whine about it, go back home.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Casino authorities doubted the validity of their documentation and called Pascua Yaqui police, who confirmed the IDs were fraudulent. When accepting winning, there is always going to be an Identification Check, Duh!! SHE USE A FRAUDULENT ID...The Casino have to follow Policies and Procedures. We know that the Casino was doing there job, My hats off to them....

Annette Mendez's picture
Annette Mendez
Submitted by Annette Mendez on
Im think our government should figure out what they want to do the people that have been here illegally and have no criminal record
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