A businessman has blamed a Las Vegas casino for letting him gamble away and lose $500,000 when he was too drunk.
Southern California gambler Mark Johnston, 52, is now suing the Downtown Grand casino for loaning him money and serving him drinks when he was visibly drunk.
"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," said Johnston in an interview with CNN. "I feel like it's the days of old Vegas, the way they've been extorting me with letters and attorneys."
The gambler lost the money on blackjack and pai gow over a 17-hour period during the Super Bowl weekend. Johnston claims that he went on a drinking binge even before he reached the casino floor.
"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," added Johnston. "This is about you almost killing me. What if I had gone to bed that night, with all those drinks in me, and I threw up on myself and I choked and died?"
Johnston has filed a lawsuit which suggests that on January 30 he had two to four drinks at the Burbank airport. He then had one drink on his flight to Las Vegas, another drink in the limosine when he arrived, one more drink while riding inside the limo and then a few more drinks at dinner shortly after checking into his hotel. Johnston claims that he does not remember what happened after dinner.
The lawsuit indicates that Johnston was accumulating losses as he was so drunk that he could not even read his cards and was dropping his casino chips.
Nevada law forbids all casinos from allowing visibly intoxicated guests to gamble. The law also prohibits casinos from giving away free drinks to obviously drunk patrons.
The incident is not very uncommon in Las Vegas. Numerous such cases have been filed in the court; however, many of the cases have also been settled outside the court.
Opened in November 2013, the Downtown Grand casino is countersuing Johnston for trying to get away with his gambling debts. The state's Gaming Control Board is also investigating in the case.