A high rolling roulette fanatic who wagered more than £27 million at a Mayfair casino has lost a court case that would see him reclaim £240k in alleged VIP ‘incentives’.
Juste Puharic, a Croatian businessman, travelled to the Park Lane Club after he claimed they had offered him kickbacks and rewards for choosing that casino over a rival.
Puharic wagered £27 million over a five-day period back in May 2015, and by the end of his trip he was more than £1 million up. But he claims that the high roller bonus that the Park Lane Club had offered him was worth nearly £250k – an amount he is still waiting to be paid to this day. The entrepreneur claimed he was ‘contractually entitled’ to the money.
However, casino chiefs rejected the Croatian’s claims, affirming that Puharic was never offered such a deal to frequent the club and that he was not a regular visitor or member. And while high rollers are no strangers to the elite venue, which caters for numerous millionaire business moguls and celebrities, Park Lane claim that they were ‘not particularly interested’ as to whether he gambled with them or elsewhere, and were merely ‘being polite’ when he visited.
Guy Oliff-Cooper, acting on behalf of the Park Lane Club, said that the casino only usually offered hospitality in the form of dining, drinks and accommodation, and that commission is credited against losses.
“Casinos use a variety of incentives to attract customers,” the lawyer explained.
“The defendant’s position is simply that it never made him this offer.
“The defendant did not offer to match or better the incentives that Mr Puharic received at other Mayfair casinos.”
No Bonus Offered
As the case made its way to the High Court, the presiding judge – Gavin Mansfield – brought the gavel down on the side of Silverbond Enterprises, who at the time operated the Mayfair brand.
Such were the high stakes of the case, in all sense of the word, the case took years to reach a verdict – progressing all the way to the capital’s High Court. The contention was whether Puharic would have played at the without the alleged incentive being offered, and Judge Mansfield was of the opinion that he would have.
“Over five nights in May 2015, the claimant played roulette at the club,” he reported.
“Those nights were the first and last times he played at the club. Despite a loss on his first night, the claimant was successful overall: he won £1,240,900.
“The claimant was paid his winnings. This claim concerns an additional amount: a bonus or incentive. The claimant claims an incentive was offered to induce him to play at the club. He says he would not have played at the club without such an incentive.
“In my judgment, there was no concluded agreement reached between the parties about bonuses or incentives. The claimant was paid his winnings and is entitled to no further sum.”