You probably know this story by now, drunk Man sues the Grand, Downtown, Las Vegas for serving Him alcohol and continuing to give Him money even though He was visibly drunk. Mark Johnson, 52, was gambling on Super Bowl Weekend at the Downtown Grand when the money was lost on Blackjack and Pia Gow Poker. Johnson says He has lost 500,000 and even 800,000 in the past and can afford to do so, He is very rich. No One is feeling sorry for this guy yet. But We have all done this, well, most all of Us.
Johnson said His timeline went like this:
4 drinks waiting for His flight at the Burbank airport.
1 drink in air on the one hour flight (terrible service)
1 drink on arrival served by limo driver while waiting for baggage.
1 drink on the way to Hotel room (Downtown Grand)
4 drinks at dinner
We are at 11 drinks before Gambling gets started and this is where Johnson says He remembers nothing further. This is where He lost Me, 11 drinks for a drinker is nothing, certainly not enough to say You remember nothing.
Then, He went on a 17 hour gambling spree that included 20 or more drinks and 500,000 dollars in markers.
The key is markers, of course He did not carry 500,000 cash with Him so as He wanted another 50k or 100k all He has to do is ask and it is brought to Him and He signs for it. It is not clear if the Hotel has already collected on the marker or if He has stopped that process by clearing out the account that the marker was connected to.
How the marker works:
For most People what happens is You sign up in advance with the Casino host and He/She gets Your credit information including a checking or savings account that the credit line can be drawn from. If You go in the casino with 1000 dollars and run out real quick, all You do is tell the pit boss or dealer that You need a marker and in quick fashion, Your host or another host will come ask, How much, You say 1000 and in just a minute or two they are pushing 1000 dollars in front of You and the host is getting You to sign a small piece of paper guaranteeing the 1000 dollars. So, at that point, two things can happen: You get lucky and now You are up 2000 dollars and want to cash out, when You go to the cashier You can tell them You want to pay off the 1000 dollar marker and You get counted out 2000 then they take 1000 for the marker and push 1000 dollars at You and a piece of paper saying you paid off the marker. But what if You do not win and You still have the marker? If You do nothing, You will see that 1000 dollars come out of Your account magically when You return home, usually the next business day. Or You can ask them not to take it from there if You have another way to pay it, You can talk to the host about it.
As for Mark Johnson, His credit line is likely 1 million dollars, so they would keep feeding Him as much money as He ask for until it got to 1 million. Where He might differ from Me and You is He probably does not have that money in a checking account that the Casino could grab quickly so He might not have settled His debt and His law suit might be asking not to pay it instead of asking to get it back. That doesn’t necessarily put Him in a better position because the Casino can get the money unless Johnson goes bankrupt which is very unlikely.
Why does it matter and what does it mean to Me and You?
All Casinos all over Vegas and even all over the world are paying close attention to this case. This case started as a joke, Everyone wants their money back when they lose, right? This case has grown to a worldwide issue. Mark Johnson claims this is not about the money but about the principal, We have heard that before, right? But He has enough money to have the best lawyers and He claims to really be going forward with the lawsuit. If He was to win, it would mean that Casinos all over Vegas will be cutting People off that want to drink more than they probably should and for most of Us, that would suck. When You go to Vegas, You go because there are no rules, get as drunk as You want, drink at 8am or 11pm, all You want! I personally gamble better the more I drink, I do not drink so much that I pass out but I might drink 20 beers in a day in Vegas, plenty of People do. So, if Mark Johnson wins this suit, You might hear the term “Mark Johnson, Him!” from a pit boss and that will mean You are getting cut off. His name might stick to this issue from now on. For the sake of Vegas, lets hope that Mark Johnson does not win this time.
What if Mark Johnson won 500,000 while drunk?
Would He wake up in a bed full of 100 dollar bills and gather them up and return them to the casino? “I am sorry, I cannot keep this money because I was way too drunk to gamble!”