PAOLI, Ind. (AP) - A judge faces a decision on whether a gambler must repay $75,000 in loans from a southern Indiana casino where he
claims workers kept serving him bourbon drinks while he was drunk.
The judge heard testimony Wednesday in a trial on the dispute
between Jimmy L. Vance of Corbin, Ky., and the former Caesars
Indiana casino. Both sides have filed lawsuits against each other,
with Vance maintaining he was visibly drunk the night of Sept. 22,
2004, as he took several credit advances from the casino while
gambling that night.
Lawyers for the casino argued before Orange Circuit Court Judge
Larry Blanton that surveillance video taken that night show no
signs that Vance was intoxicated.
Vance "doesn't sway. He doesn't stagger," said Gene Price, the
Vance's lawyer, Larry Wilder of Jeffersonville, said that a key
issue is whether Indiana law allows a casino to enter into a legal
contract with a patron who is drunk.
"He had at least seven drinks in 160 minutes," Wilder said.
"He remembers borrowing the first $20,000, but not the last
Shannon Ruck, a table games floor supervisor, testified that
Vance seemed "perfectly fine" when he left a blackjack table to
walk to the restroom and while he talked with dealers, a cocktail
waitress and other employees.
But Wilder questioned why casino videotapes show a pit boss and
a cocktail waitress make what appeared to be attempts to cut off
Vance's liquor, including dumping one of his drinks into a trash
Vance didn't testify because of a stroke he suffered about 18
months ago, Wilder said.
The judge is expected to rule on the case after reviewing more
written arguments from lawyers. If the casino prevails, state law
allows it to recoup triple damages - $225,000 - as well as
interest, court costs and legal fees.
The casino is now Horseshoe Southern Indiana and is along the
Ohio River about 15 miles southwest of Louisville, Ky.
Information from: The Courier-Journal,
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)