Gambler Files Lawsuit Over $500,000 Las Vegas Blackout

The Southern California man says he was blackout drunk during Super Bowl weekend and wants his money back from a downtown casino

A few drinks at the airport and more on the way to a Las Vegas casino during Super Bowl weekend cost a Southern California man $500,000. Now he's suing the casino to try to get it back.

An attorney for Mark Johnston, of Ventura, said the Downtown Grand Casino took advantage of his client by loaning him money and allowing him to play pai gow and blackjack while he was visibly intoxicated. A court fight is in the cards after Johnston filed a lawsuit last week to get his money back.

Johnston said he feels like they picked his pockets.

"It's like a drunk guy is walking down the street and you just go ahead and reach in his pocket and steal all his money," he said. "They should have cut me off. The bottom line is the casinos are not supposed to gamble to you and over-serve you in alcohol."

Nevada law bars casinos from allowing visibly drunk patrons to gamble and from serving them comped drinks.

"You certainly aren't supposed to issue half a million dollars in markers to someone who is obviously intoxicated," said Johnston's attorney, Sean Lyttle.

The costly night started after a Thursday arrival with drinks at the aiport and more drinks during a limousine ride. The drinking continued during dinner at Triple George Grill on 3rd Street next to the casino in downtown Las Vegas.

"I don't remember anything until Super Bowl night," Johnston said.

The casino is countersuing Johnston for trying to shirk his gambling debts, according to The Associated Press. Johnston put a stop-payment order on the markers, or casino credits, the Grand issued. He is also seeking damages from the Grand for sullying his name, the AP reported.

A casino spokeswoman told the AP the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Johnston, a retiree, owned Ojai Ford before selling it in 2006, according to the Ventura County Star.

Contact Us