Skip to comments.Gambler sues casino, says he lost $500,000 playing drunk
Posted on 03/07/2014 10:35:15 AM PST by Wolfie
Gambler sues casino, says he lost $500,000 playing drunk
LAS VEGAS -- A businessman who lost $500,000 on table games at a Las Vegas casino on Super Bowl weekend is arguing that he shouldn't have to pay because he was blackout drunk.
Southern California gambler Mark Johnston, 52, is suing the Downtown Grand for loaning him money and serving him drinks when he was visibly intoxicated.
Nevada law bars casinos from allowing obviously drunk patrons to gamble and from serving them comped drinks.
Johnston's attorney, Sean Lyttle, says the Grand, which opened last November in the old part of Las Vegas, intends to pursue Johnston for trying to shirk his gambling debts. Johnston put a stop-payment order on the markers, or casino credits, the Grand issued, and is also seeking damages from the Grand for sullying his name.
Johnston says he was thoroughly drunk during the hours he spent playing pai gow and blackjack at the Grand. His legal team plans to rely on eyewitness testimony and surveillance video to prove that he was visibly intoxicated.
Johnston lives in Ventura and made his fortune in car dealership and real estate ventures.
The Grand issued a statement saying it does not comment on pending litigation.
The state Gaming Control Board is investigating.
"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," Lyttle said. "It's a very heavy-handed and unusual approach that we haven't seen in this town in a long time."
Johnston arrived in Las Vegas with the woman he was dating on the Thursday before the Super Bowl. He drank in the limousine from the Las Vegas airport to the Grand, drank more during dinner with friends, and then says he blacked out.
The suit alleges that the Grand comped him dozens of drinks while he gambled away hundreds of thousands of dollars, finally sleeping off his drunkenness on that Saturday, which was Feb, 1. Johnston says he didn't learn how much he had lost until the next day.
In 2009, a gambler who famously lost $127 million sued a Vegas casino, claiming staff regularly plied him with alcohol and painkillers in order to keep him gambling. He eventually cut a deal with the casino and criminal charges against him were dropped.
Can’t control your booze? Don’t go to casinos.
“Gambler sues casino, says he lost $500,000 playing drunk”
Dumbass. You think the casinos provide you with free alcohol because they’re nice?
Anyone this effin’ stupid deserves to have this happen to them.
Johnston lives in Ventura and made his fortune in car dealership
Well that is no surprise....used car salesman are the worst.
MAN I been drunk before not this DRUNK LOL!
I didn’t think that hooker would give me the clap.
In 1991, the Sands sued him [Mr. Tose] for $1.23 million in gambling debts. He countersued, contending that the casino got him too drunk to know what he was doing. Eventually, the casino won. There was testimony from a cocktail waitress swearing that her job description was "to keep Mr. Tose's glass filled." A monogrammed glass, courtesy of the casino, which she kept filled with top-shelf scotch.
In the end, he lost it all, by his estimate more than $20 million at Resorts International and $14 million at the Sands. In 1996, on his 81st birthday, Tose was evicted from his seven-bedroom Villanova mansion after losing the house in a U.S. Marshal's sale.
In 1999, he told a congressional hearing on compulsive gambling that his losses totaled between $40 million and $50 million. He spent his last years alone in a downtown hotel room after his home in Philadelphia's upscale Main Line district was confiscated for unpaid taxes. Mr. Tose died in his sleep in the hospice wing of St. Agnes Medical Center in Philadelphia on April 15, 2003. He was 88. No cause of death was released. An obituary by Dan Dunkin captured his life: "To put Leonard Tose's life in football terms, he threw on every down."
In the old days the guy would have been found dead in the desert......
Wasn’t that the plot of an Albert Brooks movie? Except I think his wife blew their life savings.
Like Robert DeNiro said at the beginning of the movie “Casino”
“I mean, what do you think we’re doing out here in the middle of the desert? It’s all this money. This is the end result of all the bright lights and the comped trips, of all the champagne and free hotel suites, and all the broads and all the booze. It’s all been arranged just for us to get your money. That’s the truth about Las Vegas. Were the only winners. The Players dont stand a chance.
I am sure he would have gladly returned his winnings if had won during his little drunk spell....
Wow! Never knew about that.....thanks for posting.
The former owner of the NFL’s Philedephia Eagles, Leonard Tose, tried the same strategy after losing big in Vegas. He claimed they got him drunk to keep him gambling and losing. He lost the case and had to sell his football team to pay his debts.
I’m not as think as you drunk I am.
The “Nestegg Principle”
This was on Fox News. Seems Los(t) Wages has a law that states you must not let obviously drunk players, play at the table.
Whether he should be refunded any portion of his losings or not has a real law that is in the mix.
If I were a judge I’d laugh at him and say NEXT CASE.
Reminds me of the guy who tried the same thing with the casino I worked at in Tahoe. I believe he came up with a different approach. Search You Tube for “Harvey’s Casino”. Interesting side note...Harvey Gross wanted to expand his casino, but the Planning commission turned him down. The damage to the building “just happened” to be in an area that, since he had to rebuild anyway he could now add his expansion. Just a coinkydink I’m sure.
Yep -- "Lost in America" -- funny and touching, very entertaining. Albert tried to get the casino manager to advertise his casino as "The Casino with a Heart", because he returned Albert's funds that his wife lost playing roulette, with glazed-over eyes, all night long.
Of course, the casino manager didn't return the money. He said, instead, "This is a ca-SEE-no, you play the money you think you can afford, and sometimes you lose. That's why it's called GEHMMMM-bling."
Funny as anything.
I’m an Albert Brooks fan. His given name is Albert Einstein, no fooling.
When you get a marker (a loan), you sign for it (a contract). Can an inebriated person enter into an enforceable contract? In many states, no. Don’t know the law in Nevada.
As they say, “Stupid should hurt.”
Thats what happened to me in Vegas too. :-)
Or his car dealership will be under “new ownership” soon.
Halfway through the sound cut out. Is it just my iphone?
If I were a judge Id laugh at him and say TOUGH NOOGIES! ...YOU WANNA ROLL DOUBLE OR NUTHIN?...NEXT CASE.
This link should be better
Good Luck on the lawsuit, buddy.
Casinos due sometimes get it wrong, however. I was playing craps at the Mirage in about 1996-ish. I only had about $250 dollars on a hot table and was $1,000 ahead. But the “shooter” had LOTS and LOTS of money out there across several numbers. When the table got hot, he started to let it ride. I would guess he had $2,000 total on his point bet (pass line) with odds and all. There was a lot of money on the table from a packed crowd. He hit his point again but allegedly the dice touched a dealers hand. (no one seemed to have seen that). They called for the shooter to re-throw. Folks were pretty upset about that and the pit boss came over. The pit boss backed the dealers. The shooter crapped out on the very next roll. Security had to be called because nobody would place bets or leave the table. Supposedly one patron called the Vegas PD (or something - they never showed up at the table). We stood there for about 40 minutes while they reviewed video. Several people left but I was enjoying the show. There was some discussion with what I assume were some casino VIPs. Then there were some chips that were given out to some of the players (not me, however), the table was closed and the crowd dispersed.
After asking the pitboss what just happened and getting the look I got, I decided not to pursue it any further. But I’ve always wondered what I missed. All I know for sure is that I lost about $250 on his craps roll and nobody offered me anything except an escort out of the casino (along with others).
Never had been to Vegas. Had an opportunity to meet the wife there in the fall of 2005, as she was at a work conference at a hotel there. Met her on the Friday her conference ended and we stayed through Wednesday. Saved her airfare and part of our hotel.
Went to shows, walked through red rock canyon, took a flight by light plane to the Grand Canyon both from the air and on busses from the airport. Took a short trip to Hoover dam. Went to more shows and had a relaxing few days.
Oh, neither of us gambled... not one thin dime.
Not proud...Not ashamed. It is what I do and don’t do.
Following this drunk’s line of reasoning, I would like to know for how much should the rest of us be able to sue all the winos, stoners, idiots and other miscreants who voted to re-elect BO?
Apparently there is a Nevada law that appears to be on his side. In ordinary contract law drunkenness can, in some cases, be a defense to a breach of contract suit. What is interesting is at one time Nevada would not enforce gambling debts.
Huge Albert Brooks fan here, too. Genius.
Drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
Hey jerk! why do you think they let the booze flow freely? So idiots like you can get soused and throw money around and feel big for a few minutes.
I’m glad you lost.
Shouldn’t have played drunk.
Should have stuck to blackjack. Or the slots.
They don’t bring drinks like they used to. The last time I was there, and it is the last time I’ll ever be there, a waitress told me they were limited to serving 2 drinks per hour per person. She said her tips dropped substantially. The “suits” now run it. It’s not like the old days when cheap buffets and free drinks brought people in to lose their money. These days there has to be a big profit on everything.
I figure it'll cost him $5 mil. 10, tops.
Hey, serves you right... but really... I mean you didn't have to go and marry the b!tch on top of it. Demon liquor! Sheesh!
Tough luck, Mr. Johnston. Big money players always get free drinks. You don’t think that is just a “thanks”, do you?
Sure we do. Recognizing the above, I go in, stuff myself for next to nothing at the buffet, soak up free booze while nursing five bucks worth of nickels playing video poker, then walk out again.
So would I. Except for the part of having him sign off on loans when he's knocked-out drunk.
Using his logic, if he’d won instead of losing, could the casino sue him for what he won because he was drunk?
I don’t know.....there does seem to be a bit of inconsistency in the legal system as far as consent and intoxication.
So if he won he would of course have returned the money.
I learned a similar trick when forcibly dragged into a Vegas Casino that only does slots (and video poker). I sat at a bar for more than 90 minutes playing video poker after putting a $50 bill in the machine. When it was time to go, I realized several things:
1) I was up $12 2) I had imbibed A LOT of top shelf libations for free while sitting there. 3) Upon getting up to leave with my loving wife, I learned that I was unusually inebriated.
I gave the bartender the $12 dollars as a tip. I am sure that bar tab was over $100 (retail).
The “nest egg “.
“...and it was at that point that I realized my life had become completely unmanageable.”
Really, if you’re capable of getting blackout drunk and dropping half a million dollars over a weekend, you’ve got bigger problems than losing the half mill.