Las Vegas gambler sues casino for losing $500,000 'while he was drunk'
Business man Mark Johnston claims he was served 20 drinks and was visibly intoxicated while he gambled for 17 hours
A gambler who lost $500,000 (£298,000) at a Las Vegas casino is suing the venue for his losses – because he claims he was allowed to play despite being visibly drunk.
US businessman Mark Johnston, 52, said he should not have to pay his gambling debts after he arrived at the Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and was, he claims, plied with free alcoholic drinks while he played.
Mr Johnson alleges that staff served him at least 20 drinks during the 17 hours he spent gambling at the casino even though he was visibly intoxicated, according to the suit filed 18 February in Nevada state court for Clark County.
He said he started playing in the evening of 30 January and finally stopped the next afternoon.
Under Nevada law, casinos are not allowed to serve visibly drunk patrons.
After leaving the gaming tables, Mr Johnston went to his hotel room and woke up the next day with no memory of his time at the tables, the lawsuit states, which described his mental state while gambling as a "blackout period."
"Just picture a drunk walking the street and he's drunk, and someone pickpockets and takes his money from him. That's how I characterise it," Mr Johnston told CNN.
"My responsibility is, look, I had some drinks at the airport, on the plane. At some point, that's my responsibility," he added. "The unfortunate part about it for them is, they have a bigger responsibility than I do."
Mr Johnston, from Ventura, had been given credit in the amount of $250,000 (£149,000), and claims the amount was increased while he was gambling so he ultimately lost $500,000.
"Mr Johnston, an experienced gambler, was dropping chips on the floor, confusing chip colours and slurring his speech badly, and he was unable to read his cards or set his hands properly," the lawsuit states.
This description of his behaviour came from a staff member working at the casino during Mr Johnston’s time there, who has since stopped working at venue, according to Mr Johnston’s lawyer Sean Lyttle.
Mr Lyttle described his client’s case as “extraordinary”.
"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," he told The Associated Press.
The casino has so far declined to comment. The Nevada gaming control is reportedly investigating the matter.
Additional reporting by agencies
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 4 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 5 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
Duchess of Alba dead: Billionaire Spanish duchess who lived life by her own rules, dies at 88
New York snowstorm: Death toll rises to 10 as residents battle with further snowfall
Chelsea balcony collapse: Two people dead and six injured in London
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? And why has nobody taken legal action?
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...
£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...