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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Appeals court reinstates gambler's lawsuit with Wynn Las Vegas

26 September 2014

LAS VEGAS -- A federal appeals court reinstated a German gambler’s lawsuit with Wynn Las Vegas over a disputed $1.3 million owed to the Strip casino, saying the matter didn’t have to be heard by the Nevada State Gaming Control Board.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a previous ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Phil Pro of Las Vegas that dismissed the case.

According to the decision issued Tuesday, the justices said a signed agreement between Konstantis Zoggolis and Wynn Las Vegas to cap his credit marker — an IOU — at $250,000 was considered a contract under Nevada law.

Wynn Las Vegas wanted the case heard as a patron dispute by the Gaming Control Board.

According to state gaming law, the Control Board handles patron matters over such issues as disputed jackpots and perceived errors in table games.

However, the justices agreed with Zoggolis’s attorney, who argued the case should be handled by the U.S. District Court.

Las Vegas attorney Gary Logan, who represents Zoggolis, said Thursday he would seek to consolidate two federal lawsuits concerning the matter. Zoggolis originally sued Wynn Las Vegas to avoid payment of the $1.3 million. Wynn Las Vegas filed a separate lawsuit seeking $1.3 million from the gambler.

The wagering happened in November 2008.

Logan said Zoggolis, who had been a longtime Las Vegas gambler, was willing to pay the $250,000 based on the signed marker. Logan said the casino “continued to allow” the customer to wager beyond the self-imposed limit, issuing more than $1 million in additional credit.

The attorney didn’t give a reason why Zoggolis continued to gamble.

Meanwhile, Logan said Wynn Las Vegas fired the host who handled Zoggolis after the incident took place.

A spokeswoman for Wynn Resorts said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.