Mark Johnston is suing a Las Vegas casino after losing $500,000 at a blackjack table. Johnson alleges that employees of the Downtown Grand Las Vegas served him so much alcohol that it caused him to blackout and he was unable to remember what happened. It is said that Johnston was visibly drunk and slurring his words therefore, should not have been allowed to gamble. Johnston believes that he was plied with liquor and victimized, he goes on to say “Just picture a drunk walking the street and he’s drunk, and someone pickpockets and takes his money from him. That’s how I characterize it,” Johnston said. “I feel like it’s the days of old Vegas, the way they’ve been extorting me with letters and attorneys” (Martinez, 2014).
Johnson insists the lawsuit is about a larger issue and that he is not being 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,” the veteran gambler said. “Obviously I can afford what I lost.” Johnston does take some responsibility for his drinking, it is reported that he consumed about 10 drinks prior to arriving at the casino and 20 drinks over the 17 hour gambling period. “I had some drinks at the airport, on the plane. At some point that’s my responsibility,” Johnston said “The unfortunate part about it for them is, they have a bigger responsibility than I do” (Martinez, 2014).
Las Vegas Casinos are prohibited from providing those who are visibly intoxicated with complimentary beverages. The Downtown Grand refuses to comment on the suit and is currently under investigation to determine if it violated gaming regulations says Karl Bennison, chief of the board’s enforcement division. In about a 20 minute period Mr. Johnston took out a credit line of $200,000 and several hours later another $300,000. The casino is said to have reneged their offer to provide Johnston with a 20% discount on the debt bringing it down to $400,000. Johnston and his lawyer are hoping to not only nullify the losses but receive compensation as well as punitive damages in hopes of deterring the casino from similar conduct in the future.