Lawsuit alleges casino should have stopped drunk gambler

March 6, 2014 at 4:27 PM
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LAS VEGAS, March 6 (UPI) -- A California businessman's lawsuit against a Las Vegas casino alleges he was allowed to gamble while "blackout drunk" and was loaned $500,000 by management.

Mark Johnston, 52, the retired owner of a southern California car dealership, alleges in his lawsuit the Downtown Grand Casino, which opened under its current name and owners in October 2013, violated Nevada laws by allowing him to play blackjack and pai gow for several hours during a Super Bowl weekend trip to Las Vegas, reported Thursday.

Nevada laws prohibit allowing visibly inebriated patrons to continue gambling or receive comped drinks. Johnson alleges he was already "blackout drunk" when he arrived at the Downtown Grand and he was comped several drinks and given a $500,000 loan by management to continue gambling.

Johnson said he put a stop on the payment of the markers when he emerged from his drunken state on Super Bowl Sunday and discovered how much he had lost.

"It's certainly an extraordinary case," attorney Sean Lytte said. "This is not a story that I've ever heard before, where 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. It's a very heavy-handed and unusual approach that we haven't seen in this town in a long time."

The Downtown Grand has filed a countersuit against Johnson, alleging he is attempting to avoid paying his gambling debt.

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