Can you successfully sue the casino for serving you too many free drinks before you assault somebody?
The Lakewood Police Department’s bar report (p.21 of 226) is out, as is the City’s review of gambling income (p.41 of 74), both reports covering the year 2016.
In a word, revenue generated from casinos has tanked while calls for police service to casinos were followed apparently by trips to the tank.
Upon the opening of Lakewood’s Great American Casino in 2003, management then stated they’d “love to be a destination casino,” admitting however, it was not likely. “Our clientele will be local citizens for the most part.”
Latest reports show Lakewood’s citizens have made Lakewood’s casinos ‘destination’ sites after all.
The leading destination for the parade of police to bar brawls, disruptive patrons, or whatever other reasons police are summoned to bars that merit “serious calls for service” in 2016: Chips Casino and Palace Casino.
Among bars, Lakewood’s casinos accounted for one-out-of-every-three “serious calls for service.”
Nearly one-out-of-every-two calls for police to bars that didn’t merit the “serious” designation but which still required police assistance were phoned in by the gambling halls.
Meanwhile, though casino revenue has plummeted, the ever-rosy City forecast suggests a bright future for the drinking-and-gambling establishments. Of course you can not only carouse there (briefly) but consume food there too.
What the hope-springs-eternal financial turn-around is based on is unclear.
Perhaps what they know that we don’t know may be the newest thing in machines being introduced across America: “skill-based slot machines” that have promotors salivating given said machines “will usher in a new era of gambling aimed at attracting young people who grew up playing video games.”
Of course non-tribal casinos in Washington don’t currently allow slot-machines, ‘skill’-oriented or otherwise.
So that’s the bad news if you’re in the predatory gambling business seeking to addict the young.
You can’t hook ‘em if you can’t serve ‘em.
But while local casinos can’t sit local citizens at slots, they can sit citizens at the bar, supplying enough alcohol that evidently often-enough results in calls for police service – and a seat in the jail – and not be sued for it.
Washington State doesn’t follow a rule of strict liability which holds “that sellers of alcohol cannot be held liable for assaults or other intentional injuries caused by their over-served patrons.”
Thus unlike the man who beat his girlfriend at a Pennsylvania casino and then sued the casino for serving him excessive drinks, Lakewood’s inebriated would never get away with that here.
So that’s good.