Highrolling Gambler Sues London Casino After £27million Spree

If you imagined Phil Ivey was the only one involved in casino lawsuits, think again, with a Croatian businessman claiming he was short-changed by £¼million after wagering more than £27million at the roulette tables and winning £1.5million!

By: Andrew Burnett

High-rolling Juste Puharic was at the High Court in London recently, trying to top up the £1,466,056 ($1,931,637) he won back in May 2016 – a five-day gambling spree in London at the Park Lane Club that saw him wager £27million ($35.6million).

At issue is the ‘high-roller commission’ that he claims the casino offered him, a 0.9% cashback promise on wins or losses that amounts to a  healthy £243,518 ($320,850)  and which the casino is refusing to pay out.

According to Christopher Bamford, Puharic’s attorney, the Croatian business mogul only played at the Park Lane Club because he was promised the sweetener deal at a “wine and dine” session.

Bamford told the court that his client had been a regular at Mayfair casinos since 2002 and the Park Lane Club saw him as a valuable player 'whom it wished to attract to gamble at the club'.

For this reason, he claims, the Mayfair casino offering to match what other exclusive casinos were offering.

That’s not how the casino remember things, though, with Guy Olliff-Cooper, the lawyer representing The Park Lane Club’s owner -  Silverboard Enterprises Ltd – claiming otherwise.

He told the High Court in London: “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.”

Olliff-Cooper stated that “no formal offer” was made to Puharic, and that the staff member involved was “simply trying to be polite.” He added that hospitality and commission was discretionary as a ‘discount on losses’, but not applied to winning players.

“Casinos use a variety of incentives to attract customers. The defendant's position is simply that it never made him this matching offer,” said Mr Olliff-Cooper, asking for the case to be dismissed.

Judge Gavin Mansfield QC will make a decision in the case at a later date.

£5million Classic Car Court Battle

It’s not the first time Puharic has taken legal action against a Mayfair establishment, last year seeing him in a £5million court battle over the ownership of four classic cars.

A 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, a 1971 Rolls-Royce Phantom, a 1979 Mercedes-Benz 600 and a Mercedes-Benz Pullman once owned by the last Shah of Iran were listed in the court documents.

Puharic claimed that the Grosvenor House hotel in Park Lane, Mayfair, had allowed a bankrupt businessman to remove the cars from its garage, despite not being the legal owner.


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