According to a March 5 report from The Associated Press, California gambler Mark Johnston says the Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas should have cut him off – not from hemorrhaging money, but from becoming blackout drunk. Instead, the casino kept serving the inebriated high roller, and even granted him a credit line of $500K, which he promptly lost on table games.
The Downtown Grand of course is saying Johnston is just trying to shirk his debt, and has counter-sued for the cash.
“I feel like they picked my pockets,” Johnston said. “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.”
Johnston’s suit, while seemingly frivolous, may actually have precedent. Nevada laws bar casinos from allowing visibly drunk patrons to gamble for this very reason.
According to Johnston's complaint, over Super Bowl weekend the 52-year-old flew in to Vegas and drank at the airport, met friends and drank some more at a restaurant, then went to the hotel and drank, hopped in a limo and drank, and finally ended up at the Downtown Grand where he, you guessed it, had some drinks.
“After that, I don't remember anything,” the smashed gambler said in the understatement of the year.
Johnston's attorney Sean Lyttle said his client was far too wasted to even handle being given a few bucks for a cheap Vegas peep show, let alone half a million bucks.
“You certainly aren’t to issue half a million dollars in markers to someone who's intoxicated,” Lyttle said.
Johnston, a retired car dealership owner and real estate broker, is also suing because he says the casino “sullied his good name.” No word on if Johnston perhaps did that too himself by stumbling around piss drunk for the better part of the weekend.
“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.”
I’ll wager this scatterbrained bettor loses his lawsuit. I’ve got $10 bucks on the casino. Anyone want in on that action?
That said, there are worse lawsuits out there. Consider...