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Gambler sues casino: Man says Las Vegas casino owes him for getting him drunk

Gambler accuses Las Vegas Grand Casino
Gambler accuses Las Vegas Grand Casino
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A gambler is suing a casino after he lost over $500,000 at the Las Vegas Downtown Grand casino following the Grand getting him “blackout drunk” while gambling. Mark Johnston, age 52, claims that Grand got him overly intoxicated on Super Bowl weekend and offered him compensated drinks and massive loans in an attempt to get him to spend more. CBS News reports this Thursday, March 6, 2014, that the man is now seeking damages for marring his name and arguing for an order to dismiss the debts.

It may sound like a simple attempt to avoid gambling debts, but this gambler sues casino story is very real. Businessman Mark Johnston of southern California has been a longtime gambler, but truly feels that he should not have to pay the Grand in Las Vegas for the site serving him more drinks when he was already clearly drunk. The man is also suing the casino for purposefully loaning him more money while intoxicated in order to take advantage of him.

Nevada laws are set in place that absolutely prohibit ostensibly drunk patrons from being allowed to gamble and from serving those patrons any more drinks, including compensated beverages.

Johnston’s legal attorney in this gambler sues casino case, Sean Lyttle, is saying that they will fight the Grand’s intention to pursue his client for trying to avoid his mounting gambling debts. Owing now over $500,000 since that fateful incident on Super Bowl weekend, Johnston has since set a stop-payment order on the casino credits ordered by the Grand, and is further seeking financial payment for damages from smearing his reputation.

According to Johnston’s statement, he claims that he was already visibly drunk for hours while playing expensive gambling games like blackjack and pai gow at the Grand. The man suing the casino will be using his legal team to verify via both surveillance video and witness testimony that he was indeed drunk and being given more drink throughout the night.

The state Gaming Control Board is continuing to investigate the issue. According to the press release, the Grand casino has not commented on the pending litigation case. Says Johnston’s defense attorney:

"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.”