A Corbin businessman said he doesn’t owe an Indiana casino $75,000 in blackjack losses because he was drunk the night managers offered him the money in credit.
Jim Vance, 64, recently filed a countersuit against Caesars Indiana, a riverboat casino docked on the Ohio River in Harrison County, Ind., near Louisville, as part of an ongoing legal battle over the debt.
Ceasars filed suit against Vance last October in Harrison Circuit Court for failing to repay the loan, but he’s not alone. The company has filed similar lawsuits against 17 other people, some from Kentucky. Judgments have been given on 10 of the cases, and some of the debts have been collected. Seven are still pending.
Vance, however, has taken the novel approach of claiming the casino tricked him into accepting the money by allowing him to consume too much alcohol first.
“They should have cut me off,” he said. “What they are saying is they have no legal liability. They can give you all the booze you want. If you go into a bar or places like that, they have liability … I’m not the only one this has happened too.”
In his countersuit, filed by attorney Larry Wilder, Vance claims he was obviously drunk when several Ceasars’ employees “induced” him into accepting credit advances. He was alone during the night of gambling and said workers expressed concern about his ability to drive or even get to his car, but still offered him a loan.
Vance said he’s lost about $500,000 at the casino altogether, but hasn’t been back recently.
“I’ll probably spend more in attorney fees than what they will sue me for,” Vance said. “The $75,000 is not the deal. It’s that they shouldn’t being doing stuff like this.”
But if Ceasars is successful, Vance could be out of pocket for much more than he lost. According to the original civil complaint, the casino wants triple the disputed amount, $225,000, and 18 percent interest.
Vance said he would agree to settle with Ceasars for $25,000.
In an answer to Vance’s counterclaim, Ceasar’s attorney Gregory Taylor wrote, “Vance is certainly not the first unsuccessful gambler to want his money back.”
Taylor is asking a judge to dismiss the countersuit.
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