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.
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