Update, February 25, 2021: High Court Judge Gavin Mansfield, who presided over the case of Juste Puharic, dismissed the plaintiff’s claim in a ruling released online on February 24.
Following a November 2020 hearing, the judge observed that the well-known figure at Mayfair casinos “was successful overall”. He concluded that the claimant was not entitled to the cash-back offer in question as there had been no conclusive agreement between him and the casino.
A five-day gambling spree
The Park Lane Club casino in London is being sued by one of its high rollers. The plaintiff alleges the casino owes him commission fees after he gambled around £27m ($35.7m) at the property.
Juste Puharic, a Croatian businessman, staked the money on roulette over the space of five days in May 2015. He claims he only spent the money after the casino offered him a cash-back offer which entitled him to a percentage of funds staked.
Puharic argues the cash-back offer entitles him to an additional £243,518
Although he won £1.5m ($1.99m), Puharic argues the cash-back offer entitles him to an additional £243,518 ($322,519), a sum that he never received. This represents 0.9% commission on his gambling stakes of £27,057,621 ($35,835,519).
Silverbond Enterprises Ltd, the company which owns the casino, has denied the claims. Speaking in London’s High Court, a representative of Silverbond said the casino did not single Puharic out as a high value player or offer him the cash-back deal.
Details of the court case
Christopher Bamford, who is representing Puharic in the case, said Park Lane staff first approached the businessman on the street. He then joined the staff for coffee and dinner. The casino offered Puharic the cash-back deal in an attempt to match offers he received at other casinos.
The representative of Silverbond argued against this sequence of events. According to reports from The Daily Mail, the defense lawyer said the members of staff who approached Puharic had “not been particularly interested” in acquiring the businessman as a player. He also argued that a cash-back on stakes offer is not one the casino currently employs to attract potential bettors.
Judge Gavin Mansfield QC will provide his ruling on the case at a later date.
Silverbond’s recent GC troubles
Earlier this month, the UK Gambling Commission revoked Silverbond Enterprises’ license to operate the Park Lane Club casino. According to the regulatory body, it made the decision due to a “change in corporate control” within the company. The Commission said it would not have granted an operating license to the company had the change happened during the application process.
we are not satisfied as to the source of funds used to acquire and support the licensee”
Commenting on the revocation, Helen Venn, executive director of the Commission, said: “We revoked the license because we are not satisfied as to the source of funds used to acquire and support the licensee at the time of the change of corporate control.”
She also said the owner has a history of failing to provide sufficient information when requested by the Commission.
Silverbond is reportedly challenging the Gambling Commission’s decision. The company will submit its appeal before November 18.