Legal Blog

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, All-In

pokernewsMark Johnston claims that he had 10 drinks before walking into the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas on the eve of the 2014 Super Bowl, and then downed another 20 before walking out nearly a day later. In between, Mr. Johnston dropped $500,000 playing pai gow and blackjack. And so, at some point after the booze-induced haze cleared, the downtrodden casino patron did the downright cartoonishly American thing and sued the casino for his money back.

“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,” alleged the suit, which is actually set to go to trial before a jury this October. The theory is simple: the Downtown Grand was wrong to ply an inebriated gambler with more booze, and ought not be allowed to benefit from its high proof hustle.

While this may be one of the first instances of a bettor suing a Nevada gaming outfit for getting him too drunk, there is actually a long and proud history of people turning litigious after dropping wads of cash while downing rounds in Atlantic City casinos. They range from outlandish to just moderately absurd, and with the 2015 World Series of Poker underway, complete with cocktail waitresses making their rounds at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, some of them merit revisiting.

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