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52-year-old Mark Johnston showed up to the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada to enjoy a night of gambling. The problem was, Johnston was blackout drunk when he arrived at the Casino and the company continued to serve him at least twenty drinks after he arrived and issued him a large line of credit to gamble with. The casino would like their money to be paid back in full, and the businessman refuses to pay because he does not remember the event. The bottom line in the lawsuit is whether casinos are violating Nevada law when they serve visibly intoxicated patrons.
The state of Nevada prohibits the sale of alcohol to individuals who are visibly drunk. The state also prohibits visibly intoxicated customers from gambling. Johnston claims to have been so drunk during the event he cannot remember what happened. They will use eyewitness testimony and surveillance footage to determine that he was visibly drunk. Johnston’s attorney also claims that the Grand sullied his name, for which he is suing for damages. Johnston is also claiming that the casino stole $100,000 from the account he held with them. While the state Gaming Control board is investigating the Grand is refusing to comment on the case.
Johnston’s suit against Nevada casinos may be successful if it is found to violate state law. Johnston had been drinking in the limousine from the airport and continued to drink at dinner, when he said he blackout. While he was gambling hundreds of thousands of dollars the Grand “comped” him dozens of drinks. In 2007, a similar case surfaced with Terrance Watanabe when he had many nights of similar drunken debauchery at Caesars Palace. However, in Watanabe’s case he promptly dropped his suit against the casino when he was charged with criminal theft and bad-check in Vegas. The bottom line is that Casino’s need to be aware of how drunk their patron’s appear before serving them to ensure they are not in violation of state laws. Additionally, gamblers may think twice about how many drink they consume before borrowing $500,000 from a Casino.