On Thursday, Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) fined Boyd Gaming for a wrongful arrest of a Fremont Hotel and Casino slot player. The woman was accused of stealing another player’s credits and was wrongfully kept in security’s custody for 90 minutes. The downtown Las vegas hotel was fined $300,000 for the alleged violations. As part of the settlement, the hotel did not admit to the allegations of misconduct.
The incident happened last November when two women were playing slots near each other. One of the women is seen on surveillance footage at a slot playing, cashing out and then moving. When the accused woman went to the same machine as the first patron, the accuser claimed that there was money left on the machine, about $200.
Ed Magaw, a Nevada deputy attorney general told the commission that the security guard was harsh and hostile. In the complaint, he mentioned that the Fremont security grabbed the woman by the neck and arm from behind before placing her in custody, effectively committing an assault as well as false imprisonment. The guard in question also screamed at the guest, threatened her with jail, and was forced to give up the money that belonged to her which was around $200.
NGC Chairman John Moran Jr, said he was very troubled by the events. He chose to reluctantly support the complaint settlement, indicating the amount was not enough. But because it was the first time any Boyd Gaming property had been brought before the commission for a disciplinary hearing and the company revamped its internal arrest procedures after the incident, he opted against seeking a larger fine.
Other Boyd properties have been defendants in civil lawsuits or settlements regarding other patron abuse incidents, but the Board refused to take regulatory action in those incidents, despite being urged to do so by victims’ attorneys. The Board did not respond to a request by BJ21 News Service for comment on this issue.
Steve Thompson, executive vice president for operations at Boyd Gaming, told the commissioners that embarrassment is not a strong enough word to describe how company officials feel about the incident. The security officer failed at almost everything he was trained upon. The security officer and other casino officials also failed to adequately review surveillance video and slot machine records that day, officials revealed.
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