Man sues casino for $30 million

Harry Kakavas, a high-rolling property developer from Australia’s Gold Coast, is suing the Crown Casino in Melbourne for the $30 million he lost in just over a year.

Kakavas claims the casino lured him back through devious and manipulative incentives put in place by chief operating officer John Williams, even though he had himself legally banned from the casino in 1995.

According to Kakavas, the casino would often provide him with his own private jet for his own business and personal use and sometimes he would find a bag with as much as $50,000 in it waiting for him.

In a statement made by Kakavas to the Supreme Court, he claimed that Crown Casino’s interstate marketing manager, Richard Doggert, told him all he needed was a letter from any psychologist saying that he had overcome his gambling problems.

"What do we have to do to get you to come back to Crown?" Doggert allegedly asked Kakavas.

"Johnny Williams really wants you back here."

According to Kakavas, the casinos behaviour was designed to make him lose “substantial amounts of money” and was "in flagrant disregard of the law of the state of Victoria".

Once Crown Casino heard that Kakavas had purportedly been gambling in Las Vegas, the casino’s VIP gaming Vice President Ishan Ratnam allegedly called him on William’s behalf.

"You don't need to fly 16 hours to Vegas, when you have a two-hour flight to Crown," Ratnam allegedly told Kakavas.

"Johnny Williams said that we will let you bet more than what Vegas allows you, up to $300,000 per hand, and we will give you a 20 per cent rebate on losses."

In Kakavas’ claim to the Supreme Court, he states that Williams had instructed his employees "to do what was necessary" to get Kakavas back at the tables.

Between June 2005 and August 2006 Kakavas was allegedly back at the casino after being afforded $1.5 million credit.

"Between 24 June 2005 and August 2006, the plaintiff (Mr Kakavas) suffered losses of approximately $30 million," said the statement of claim.

"Crown won $30 million by means of ill practice."

"I have the finest three QCs in Australia standing behind me," Kakavas added.

Editor, - 2007-03-07 11:02:37

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