'Drunk' Gambler Sues Las Vegas Casino After $500k Loss

'Drunk' Gambler Sues Las Vegas Casino After $500k Loss

Friday, 7 March 2014

A gambler who lost $500,000 (£298,000) on a trip Las Vegas is claiming that he shouldn't have to pay back the money because he was too drunk to play.

Businessman Mark Johnston is taking legal action against the Downtown Grand, claiming that they shouldn't have lent him money and let him play blackjack and pai gow while he was intoxicated. The Californian car salesman likened it to 'a drunk walking down the street and somebody goes up and just pickpockets him'.

Johnston told CNN, "Look, I had some drinks at the airport. I had a drink on the plane. You know, at some point that's my responsibility, OK. But the unfortunate part about it for them [the casino] is that they have a more, bigger responsibility than I do."

Johnston put in a 17-hours session at the Downtown Grand tables and sunk as many as 20 drinks while playing. These were on top of what he consumed prior to arriving at the casino.

Sean Lyttle, Johnston's lawyer told the Associated Press, "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".

The 52-year old Johnston claimed that his lawsuit is not a case of sour grapes though.

"I am not a sore loser. I've lost half a million. I've lost 800,000. I've lost a lot of money. This has nothing to do with that. Obviously I can afford what I lost."

The Downtown Grand is yet to comment on the incident while the Nevada Gaming Control Board has started an investigation.

Tags: Las Vegas, law, Mark Johnston