Wealthy Gambler Sues London Casino After Betting £27 Million on Roulette

Customer says he was promised cash-back

If I won £1.5 million, I’d be over the moon. But if I thought I should have had another quarter million, well, there is a chance I’d feel a bit perturbed. Such is the case with Croatian businessman Juste Puharic, who wagered £27,057,621 at The Park Lane Club in London from May 26 to May 30, 2016. He came away from the roulette table £1.5 million richer, but is now suing the casino for £243,518 that he says was promised to him as a promotion.

Puharic says that The Park Lane Club, located in the ritzy Mayfair area of London, offered him a 0.9% cash-back deal in order to convince him to play at the casino. The fraction of a percent on the stakes he gambled would have come out to the £243,518 to which he believes he is entitled.

Christopher Bamford, Puharic’s attorney, told London’s High Court that a member of the casino’s staff approached his client on the street and took him out for coffee and dinner. During the “wine and dine” session, the staff member said The Park Lane Club would match or beat any offer that Mayfair’s other casinos might offer.

Puharic said he was getting 0.9% of his stakes at other clubs, win or lose, so that is allegedly what the casino offered him and hence why he played there.

Casino says no such offer was made

Of course, the casino begs to differ. Guy Olliff-Cooper, attorney for Silverboard Enterprises, The Park Lane Club’s owner, said that the casino was not as committal on its alleged offer as Puharic remembers: “It may have said that the club would do its best to be competitive and would therefore consider matching terms that Mr. Puharic received elsewhere.”

It appears that “consider” is the key word there. Olliff-Cooper said the casino made “no formal offer.”

He also said that the staff member who spoke with Puharic was “not particularly interested” in attracting Puharic as a customer as was “simply trying to be polite.”

He readily admitted that various offers and incentives could be made to attract customers – we of course know this – but nothing like the 0.9% cash-back offer was put forth. In fact, Olliff-Cooper noted, if something resembling that was ever offered, it would only be a discount on losses, not if the player wins.

So what do we think?

It certainly seems like one of the sides is lying or there was simply a miscommunication. Puharic does have a very specific recollection of his meeting with the staff member and an exact cash-back percentage.

Considering how wealthy he apparently is and that he had played at Mayfair-area casinos since 2002, it is likely The Park Lane Club knew him. That he was taken out to dinner just because a staffer was being nice seems odd. If this writer were to guess, if we’re going to give the casino the benefit of the doubt and say they aren’t straight-up lying, it seems like the casino is downplaying the meeting at the very least. I am going to guess that (again, assuming the casino isn’t flat inventing a story) a deal was discussed, never confirmed, and Puharic just misunderstood. If there was a cash-back offer made on losses, the casino would have said so in court.

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