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Gambler Sues Downtown Grand For $500,000 He Lost

March 5, 2014 at 1:49 PM | by | ()

A gambler named Mark Johnston is suing Downtown Grand for $500,000 saying the casino cheated him out of that much money Super Bowl weekend.

Johnston states he had way too much to drink and the casino should have stopped him from blowing all of that money. According to KNTV, Johnston says “I feel like they picked my pockets.” He continued saying, “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.” He also claims to have had multiple drinks before arriving at the casino and doesn’t remember anything after dinner at Triple George Grill.

Gaming regulations state that a casino isn’t supposed to allow a visibly drunk person gamble. Additionally, casinos aren’t supposed serve comp’d drinks to someone that’s visibly drunk. If any casino is caught letting a drunk person gamble, they are subject to discipline from the Nevada Gaming Commission. Johnston says that an investigation has begun, but the Commission won’t confirm that, only saying they’re aware of the situation.

If this lawsuit goes to court, both parties will have to look at the surveillance tapes from that weekend and make their case that Johnston was or wasn’t too drunk to gamble. People have sued casinos for gambling losses in the past and often settle with the casino before going to trial. At this point, there's no guarantee this lawsuit will ever make it to court.

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Archived Comments:

Gambling Sober?

I'm actually glad they don't enforce this law.  Although I don't get stumbling drunk, the experience is definately better with a good buzz on.  I remember back many eons ago sitting at a Blackjack table, well, sort of remember, and the dealer or my buddy would nudge me when it was my turn to play.  At that point I would lift my head off the table, play, and return to napping.  They never flinched as long as I was playing.

Sounds like a sore loser with a gambling problem..

How did he get access to $500k anyway?

The only time I ever win at gambling is if I have at least a good buzz on...

If they

If they denied every drunk person there would be no one left at the tables?!?

I hope this gets thrown out. I'm guessing they forced you to drink too much? What's next? Are people going to sue Jose Cuervo because the tequila got them drunk.....

Dumb drunk or really bad gambler?

This kind of; "I'm not responsible for my actions" crap has always bothered me. You and only you are the one that decides how much you're going to drink and therefore how intoxicated you get and no one else but you. Like Clint Eastwood said in Magnum Force, "Man's got to know his limitations" and as an adult you have the responsibility to know how much you can drink and when to stop or at least slow down before you make bad or dumb decisions.

I don't think I have ever seen a casino cut someone off just because they are drunk when they haven't started trouble or have gotten out of control. I've seen glassy eyed guys with half their shirt untucked and their hair completely ruffled but looking seemingly in control of all their facilities gambling like everyone else at 3am. Should this person be considered "visibly drunk"? There are a couple things wrong with his story; Mark indicates he had "multiple drinks before arriving at the casino". So is he admitting to driving to the casino while completely smashed and was he planning on leaving the casino while being so intoxicated that "he doesn't remember anything after dinner"? The story doesn't say where he had his multiple drinks before getting to the DT Grand but if he was served those drinks at different casino, as everyone knows those drinks are so watered down its almost impossible to get that s-faced from the comped drinks you get while gambling. I think he learned a $500,000 lesson in personal responsibility.

What if he won?

Of course he is very responsible and would give any and all winnings back to the casino.

The Consequence of Freedom

This guy must have ordered the drinks for himself.  If he had left the casino and decided it was a good idea to rob a bank, would the casino be on the hook for that decision too?  Where in the world has the sense of Personal Responsibility gone???  If you decide to go to the casino while having access to over $500k, and know you may get really drunk and spend it, that's 100% on you, not the establishment serving you.  And I agree with Hemipsycho, he totally would have given back his winnings had he walked out up money.  Because, you know, he had no right to be gambling at that time...

Bet the corks were poppin' ...

... in the DT Grand back offices when Mr. Johnston finally called it a night. Nice haul.

Not in his leauge

I like most people have gambled while drunk.At the most 1000 dollars.I doubt he will he get his money back. That rule is almost never enforced. Why do you think they give free drinks to gamblers?

reading comprehension.

He had some drinks at the Triple George- its 30feet to the DTG Casino entrance- so there is ZERO indication that he drove at all, and not all comped drinks are watered down.
 Gambling buzzed is one thing, but you dont just walk up to the sportsbook and drop $500k. Multiple supervisors would be present, security would be aware and of course the cameras are everywhere. I doubt he has a case- but if he needed assistance signing anything, standing up... he just might get some/all of his money back.

More details...

"Johnston acknowledged some responsibility for his drinking -- as many as 20 drinks while gambling over 17 hours on top of about 10 drinks before even stepping into the casino.

"My responsibility is, look, 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..."

Johnston takes prescribed medication that increases the intoxicating effects of alcohol, and a casino host who invited Johnston to the Downtown Grand was aware of Johnston's use of the medication, the suit alleged."

<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/06/us/california-drunken-gambler-las-vegas-casino/">http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/06/us/california-drunken-gambler-las-vegas-casino/</a>