(CN) – Finding that gambling markers are credit instruments under Nevada law, the 9th Circuit on Tuesday revived allegations that a casino failed to honor a German man’s self-imposed $250,000 limit.
Konsantin Zoggolis argued in a 2011 lawsuit against Wynn Las Vegas that the casino had breached an agreement to limit or cancel his credit line at $250,000 during a gambling binge in 2008.
Wynn owed Zoggolis $1.3 million for 11 markers it allowed in excess of the $250,000 limit, the complaint states. Zoggolis also sought an injunction to stop Wynn from going forward with a criminal case against him for his unpaid markers.
U.S. District Judge Philip Pro in Las Vegas dismissed the lawsuit, however, after finding that Zoggolis had failed to exhaust his claims before the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which typically has jurisdiction over gambling debts in the state.
A unanimous appellate panel reversed Tuesday and remanded the case back to Las Vegas, finding that Zoggolis need not go before the gaming board with his claims because his markers were credit instruments that “must be resolved in the same manner as any other dispute involving the enforceability of a negotiable instrument.”
“During argument, Wynn acknowledged that Zoggolis’ claims were predicated on several markers and that those markers were credit instruments under Nevada law,” Judge Johnnie Rawlinson wrote for a three-judge panel. “Because Zoggolis’ gaming debts were evidenced by credit instruments, it is now apparent that Zoggolis was not required to exhaust his claims before the Gaming Control Board.”
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