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Jury Rejects Part of Former Football Team Owner’s Claim Against Casino

March 5, 1993

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) _ A federal jury today rejected part of a claim by former Philadelphia Eagles football team owner Leonard H. Tose that an Atlantic City casino caused him to lose millions by letting him gamble while obviously drunk.

The civil court jury concluded Tose was not ″visibly and obviously intoxicated″ on four occasions when he gambled at the Sands Hotel Casino between June 1985 and March 1986 and lost $199,000.

But the nine members of the panel in the civil trial couldn’t agree on a verdict on three other dates in that period when Tose lost $1.1 million. U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas declared a mistrial regarding those occasions and set a new trial for April 5.

″The last hand has not been played,″ Tose told reporters as they stood in the rain outside the courthouse. ″I’m going to win the next case.″

Asked if he would return to Atlantic City to gamble, Tose said, ″Talk to me after I get the money.″

Sands attorney Frederick Kraus said the casino was pleased with today’s verdict.

Tose, 78, of Villanova, Pa., sought to recoup the money he lost at the Sands, claiming the casino plied him with free drinks and encouraged him to gamble despite his bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and stagger.

The Sands denied his allegations.

Irenas ruled last week that casinos which allow patrons to gamble while obviously intoxicated are liable for losses incurred. The ruling effectively extends a state law holding drinking establishments responsible for the acts of their drunken patrons.

Tose is also suing Merv Griffin’s Resorts and Casino, seeking to recover $5 million.

Tose lost $14.6 million in Atlantic City casinos between 1981 and 1986, according to court records.

An admitted compulsive gambler and alcohol abuser, Tose has acknowledged owing millions to creditors and struggling to avoid bankruptcy. He sold the Eagles in 1985 to current owner Norman Braman for $65 million.

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