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Gambler Sues Las Vegas Casino for Allowing Him to Play Drunk and Extending His Credit Line

Mar 11, 2014

drunken-gamble-110314Not a good match

Gambler claims casino kept on serving him drinks and extending his credit despite the fact he was too drunk to play.

Sure, we all heard the stories when gamblers sue casinos. There can be a variety of reasons, but one thing is true in all cases, when a player walks out of a gambling hall with a little less money than he came in with, he will not be happy.

Recent reports in casino gambling news tell a story of Mark Johnston – a gambler from California. He’s got some serious accusations towards the Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and its management.

What all the fuss is about

According to Johnston, the casino should’ve prevented him from getting so drunk that he blacked out. Note he’s not saying the management shouldn’t have let him play, he says they had no right to allow him to continue gambling in the heavily intoxicated state that he was in.

If the reports are to be believed, Mark Johnston was not only drunk beyond recognition, but to make things worse the casino kept bringing him drinks, and even extended a $500,000 credit marker for the high-roller. It was only a question of time when he was going to scatter the half a million on the tables.

drunken-gamble-1-110314Mark Johnston went too far… But who can predict the verdict?

Here’s what Mark Johnston had to say about the incident: “I feel like they picked my pockets. I feel like they took a drunk guy… like a drunk guy walking down the street, and you reach in his pockets and grab all his money.”

The lawsuit

Of course the Downtown Grand Casino says Johnston is simply trying to avoid paying the debt. The casino has already put forward a counter lawsuit against the gambler.

However surprising it may be, the lawsuit may actually have precedent, despite seeming to be too lighthearted. Nevada gambling regulations stipulate that casinos and gambling halls must ban visibly drunk clients from gambling. And we all know how American justice system works.

The official story

Gambler sues casino for losing money while being drunk

• Gambler said he was too intoxicated to gamble and the casino didn’t stop him

• There’s a stipulation in American gambling laws forcing casinos ban drunk clients

• The casino in question has put forward a counter lawsuit

Johnston has put forward an official complaint stating that over the Super Bowl weekend, he flew out to Las Vegas. He then proceeded to drink at the airport, after which he met some friend and drank some more at the restaurant.

But wait, he went back to the hotel and drank again, got into a limo and had some more drinks. Finally he arrived at the Downtown Grand Casino, and what do you know, he continued drinking. The gambler finished up the statement by saying: “After that, I don’t remember anything.”

Sean Lyttle, the attorney at law for Johnston, claims that his client was way too drunk to even shove a couple of dollar bills down a stripper’s panties, not to mention being given $500,000 to gamble. Lyttle commented: “You certainly aren’t to issue half a million dollars in markers to someone who’s intoxicated.”

Reasons to sue

Mark Johnston is a real estate broker and a retired car dealership owner, quite renowned in his neighborhood. According to him, one of the reasons he’s suing the casino is the fact that they “sullied his good name.” And it doesn’t matter to him that he did enough of that himself, walking and stumbling around heavily intoxicated.

Johnston’s attorney continued: “It’s certainly an extraordinary case. This is not a story that I’ve ever heard before, where someone was blackout intoxicated where they couldn’t read their cards, and yet a casino continued to serve them drinks and issue them more markers. It’s a very heavy-handed and unusual approach that we haven’t seen in this town in a long time.”

Any chance for the gambler?

The case might sound a little bit too out there to be won by the gambler, but combine precedent and evidence, and you got yourself a winner here. As it happens there might be proof Johnston was drunk. We’re talking about a casino here, and there are thousands of video cameras around, which would have surely taped the gambler’s drunken behavior.

Not to mention witnesses at neighboring tables and just plain bystanders. Some of them have already come forward backing Johnston’s words.

In any case it’s now up to Nevada Gaming Control Board to investigate the case. And if the parties can’t find a compromise the lawsuits will move forward and heard before a judge. We’ll definitely keep an eye on the story and let our faithful readers know on any fresh developments.

We do advise not only to drink responsibly, but also gamble responsibly and follow the casino table manners. Remember the game is all about fun: it’s about the journey, not the destination.


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