Southern California gambler, Mark Johnston who lost $500,000 in Las Vegas at the Downtown Grand playing pai gow and blackjack is suing the Casino.
The 52-year old says he was clearly drunk while playing and the Casino should not have loaned him money and served him drinks when he was already visibly intoxicated.
“I feel like they picked my pockets,” Johnston said. “It’s like a drunk guy is walking down the street and you just go ahead and reach in his pocket and steal all his money. “They should have cut me off. The bottom line is the casinos are not supposed to gamble to you and over-serve you in alcohol.”
His legal team plans to rely on eyewitness testimony and surveillance video to prove that 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 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.
The casino is countersuing Johnston for trying to shirk his gambling debts, according to the Associated Press.
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.”
Mark Johnston arrived in Las Vegas on the Thursday before the Super Bowl with a woman he was dating. He drank in the limousine from the Las Vegas airport to the Grand, drank more during dinner with friends at the Triple George Grill on 3rd Street next to the casino in downtown Las Vegas, and then says he blacked out shortly after.
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. Johnston says he didn’t learn how much he had lost until the next day.
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