Gambler’s Lawsuit Could Change Free Casino Drink Tradition Forever

DowntownGrandAs a long-standing service to customers, casinos offer low-cost or free drinks. But this post isn’t about the history of casino freebies.

The gaming industry is committed to safe and responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages, according to the American Gaming Association, and has extensive policies and programs to protect the safety of customers and the community while still allowing adults to drink responsibly. But if you want more specifics about those policies, look them up, but that us not what thus post is about either.

It’s about the future implications concerning a recent story from downtown Las Vegas. Mark A. Johnston of Ventura, California, is claiming he shouldn’t have to pay the Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino the $500,000 debt because employees served him so much alcohol that he suffered a blackout and was unable to remember the losses or even his gambling, the lawsuit alleges.

Should the the casino have stopped serving him drinks, or whether the gambler was responsible for his losses, again, is not the point of this post.

A legal suit like this could actually be what the casinos are looking for to improve their bottom line. [thanks to Mr. Johnston 🙁 ] A tradition of free drinks isn’t written in stone. For example, casino hotels & resorts across the country started adding “resort fees” to your hotel stay recently until, one by one, it became the norm. Why would free drinks be an untouchable part of casino hospitality?  Remember when you could visit a casino and get a coupon book, or coupon sheet with match play, 2 for 1 show tickets, or a free buffet?  Gone, gone, gone…..

With constant expansion of casino gambling in the U.S. and increased competition at a time when casinos are looking for debt reduction and increased profit, this law suit could start the beginning of the end for free drinks – which could be just what the casinos have been looking for.  Free drinks could just be too much of a liability for casinos, if this guy proves the Downtown Grand’s negligence.

You could be gambling with a few years from now, reminiscing about “those free drinks we used to get.” Are you going to enjoy paying for your scotch, your beer, your coffee!

So thanks a lot, Mr. Johnston. Thanks to you, I’ll have to pay a couple bucks for my water. Good going!


That’s all for now.



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