A California man known as a gambler and Las Vegas regular sued a casino from Sin City after he lost $500,000 and stated he was “too drunk” to be allowed to gamble. Mark Johnston, 52, claims that he spent 17 hours gambling, but he was so intoxicated with alcohol that he does not remember the episode. The gambler wishes the Downtown Grand Casino to erase his debt and pay unspecified punitive and compensatory damage, since the recently opened gambling establishment called the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, where the man went after the incident and warned them with regard to making business with Johnston.
The drunk gambler is suing a Las Vegas casino after losing $500,000 in a 17-hour gambling session, invoking Downtown Grand’s mistake of offering him about 20 complimentary drinks. Nevada gaming regulations state that casinos should not allow visibly drunk guests to continue to gamble, but the gambler’s attorney, Sean Lyttle thinks that Downtown Grand, which opened in November last year, is simply inexperienced and does not know the rules properly. Lyttle describes his client as a self-made millionaire who was previously involved in real estate development and owned a number of car dealerships.
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Johnston compared the actions of Downtown Grand with someone pickpocketing a drunk person and stated that he feels like Las Vegas has gone back to its old days, since the casino has been showering him with “letters and attorneys.” The casino officials refused to comment, but the drunk gambler who decided to sue this Las Vegas casino remained upfront with regard to losing $500,000.
“I’ve lost half a million,” Johnston said.
The self-made millionaire, a Las Vegas regular, did not shy away from admitting that he has lost a lot of money, therefore he can afford the amount he lost right before the Super Bowl, on January 30. He insisted that the casino is responsible for him and feared that he might have accidentally killed himself when going to bed, throwing up and choked to death. The gambler took the blame for the drinks he was served on the airplane and in the limousine which took him to Downtown Grand, but he mentioned that the casino did not follow Nevada laws and, instead, offered him dozens of drinks.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board is currently investigating Downtown Grand in order to find out whether the casino violated any gaming regulations. Karl Bennison, chief of the board’s enforcement division, told the press that the investigation is ongoing and, if Downtown Grand is responsible for offering drinks to an already intoxicated gambler, it could face a license revocation, a fine or even both.
The sequence of events described in the lawsuit follows the man’s arrival to the casino with a female friend, both intoxicated with alcohol. An old friend of Johnston’s, a law professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, joined the pair for dinner and stated that the gambler was visibly drunk. Another description of the man’s behavior came from Eric Weis, a bartender at Downtown Grand who stopped working there after the incident, because of the management’s pressure.
According to the lawsuit, Johnston, although an experienced gambler, confused chip colors, dropped chips on the floor and mispronounced words. The California man was also taking prescribed medication that enhances the effects of alcohol and the casino host who invited Johnston to Downtown Grand was aware of his situation. The drunk gambler is currently suing the Las Vegas casino after losing $500,000 at blackjack and pai gow.
By Gabriela Motroc