Mark A. Johnston of Ventura, California went on a gambling spree before the super bowl weekend and lose over $500,000 at pai gow and blackjack. Johnston who played at the Downtown Grand casino in Las Vegas has filed a suit stating that during his 17 hour gambling spree he was completely drunk and had no idea of how much he was spending.
Johnston alleges that Casino employees encouraged him to drink and kept serving him a steady flow of alcohol that made his blackout. He states that he had no idea of how much money he spent and lost and infact does not even remember gambling.
This interview was taken by CNN
In a statement, Johnston said
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. I feel like it’s the days of old Vegas, the way they’ve been extorting me with letters and attorneys. 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.
Nevada regulations state that Casino’s must offer complimentary drinks to gamblers and this is where Johnston believes that Casino must step up and take more responsibility.
These regulations prohibit casinos from “permitting persons who are visibly intoxicated to participate in gaming activity” as well as from providing “complimentary service of intoxicating beverages in the casino area to persons who are visibly intoxicated.”
Johnson is also on prescription medication and states that the alcohol along with the medication proved to be too much for him to handle. Johnson also states that he was invited to the Downtown Grand by a casino host who was very well aware of Johnston’s use of prescription medication. While the Casino has declined to comment on this pending lawsuit, the Nevada Gaming Control Board is investigating this issue.
Johnston is an experienced and wealthy gambler who says that he does not want to take this loss lying down as this was clearly a setup. The lawsuit states
Mr. Johnston, an experienced gambler, was dropping chips on the floor, confusing chip colors, and slurring his speech badly, and he was unable to read his cards or set his hands properly
Karl Bennison, chief of the Nevada Gaming Control Board enforcement division said
We are investigating this thoroughly. We are aware of this matter. We’ll see if there are regulation violations.