High Roller Claims Fraud, Gets $8 Million

A California high roller was awarded more than $8 million by a Las Vegas federal court jury that agreed he was defrauded by Park Place Entertainment and its Paris Las Vegas resort. Lawyers for multimillionaire gambler Steven Mattes argued that Paris executives lured the big bettor to the megaresort’s September 1999 grand opening by promising him a $2 million credit line and then reneged on the marker offer after he lost millions of his own money at the resort. In his lawsuit, Mattes, 42, argued that resort bosses changed their minds about offering the gambler a $2 million credit line in order to lock in Mattes’ losses as big first-day wins for Paris Las Vegas. Instead, a Paris Las Vegas casino host tried to get Mattes to gamble at the Las Vegas Hilton, where he had another line of credit. On Nov. 15, Park Place spokesman Robert Stewart said the company was disappointed by the jury’s Thursday decision: “We strongly believe the verdict was not supported by the facts presented at trial.

We intend to appeal.” Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander says the board has already launched a preliminary investigation of the case to determine if it warrants a full-fledged inquiry.