Man Sues Vegas Casino For ‘Letting Him Lose’ $500,000 While Drunk During Super Bowl Weekend

  • Rick Chandler

So if a bar over-serves an obviously-drunk customer, and that customer goes out and gets in a car wreck, there are laws in which the bar could be liable for damages. So, what about casinos?

Dude visits Vegas casino during Super Bowl weekend, gets bombed, and loses $500,000. Letting it ride on 00 in roulette … not recommended. Anyway, he’s now suing the casino for letting him bet while drunk.

Mark Johnston says the new Grand Resort Casino in Las Vegas cheated him out of $500,000, which he lost gambling during Super Bowl weekend. Johnston, who says he had too much to drink before wagering that money, says the resort should not have let him gamble.

Only $500,000, asks Terry Watanabe? In 2007 the Nebraska businessman lost $127 million during a gambling spree at two Las Vegas casinos, with $14.7 million of that on extended credit at Harrah’s. The casino filed charges when Watanabe wouldn’t pay the $14.7 million, but the man filed a civil suit of his own, claiming that casino staff plied him with drinks and pain medication to keep him gambling, which is a violation of both Nevada state law and Nevada gaming regulations. Watanabe eventually reached an agreement with the casinos to let the civil case be decided by an arbitrator, and also reached an agreement with Clark County prosecutors to avoid jail time.

Such cases as Johnston’s and Watanabe’s never work, according to the Wall Street Journal. Former Philadelphia Eagles owner Leonard Tose found that out for himself in Atlantic City.

In 1993, former Philadelphia Eagles owner Leonard Tose failed to convince a jury in a civil suit against Hollywood Casino Corp. that employees of the casino had gotten him so drunk that he didn’t know what he was doing when he gambled away millions in Atlantic City, N.J. As a result, he had to pay the casino $1.23 million in gambling debt. He died in 2003.

State regulators have imposed fines on casinos which allow visibly intoxicated people to gamble, however.

Johnston says while he doesn’t expect any sympathy from others, he still feels wronged.

“I feel like they picked my pockets,” he 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.”

Well, that’s not exactly an apt analogy. But it’s true that the cards are stacked against things are heavily weighed against you the minute you set foot in Nevada. No state that allows slot machines in grocery stores is going to give you back your money under any circumstances.

It’s true: only schmucks like Wayne Newton.