Update: The Nevada Gaming Control Board fined Fremont Hotel and Casino $300,000 on September 24 for the unlawful 90-minute detention of a casino patron. The property did not admit to the misconduct allegations as part of the settlement reached with the state’s gambling watchdog.
Potential disciplinary action
The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has filed a complaint against the Las Vegas Fremont Hotel and Casino property over an incident which saw its security staff detain a woman for 90 minutes over an alleged theft she did not commit.
damage to the state’s reputation
The NGCB filed a four-count complaint on September 16 through the Attorney General’s Office. It alleges unsuitable operations and Regulation 5 violations, citing damage to the state’s reputation.
The incident in question took place shortly after midnight on November 24, 2019. Fremont security officers handcuffed a woman and detained her over accusations that she had stolen slot machine credits from another female player. The NGCB’s filing states: “The manner in which the security officers handled the arrest of (the patron) was unreasonable given the circumstances.” It adds that the incident could have been resolved without having to speak to the accused, let alone detain her.
The Boyd Gaming-owned downtown casino will face disciplinary action from the Nevada Gaming Commission when the regulator meets on Thursday. The commission has the ability to issue a fine or even revoke the casino’s license.
Dispute between players escalates
The incident at Fremont Casino began as a dispute between two players that escalated into a theft accusation. Both women were playing slot machines close to one another. One of them cashed out her winnings before accusing the other woman of playing on her slot machine when it still had $20 worth of her credits. The accuser informed a security officer about the supposed theft.
The security officer then approached the accused from behind and handcuffed her, leading the woman to a holding room for interrogation. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department were then called to the property.
in handcuffs for one hour and 28 minutes
After reviewing surveillance footage, police officers determined that there had not been any theft and deemed the casino security’s account of what had happened inaccurate. The woman had been in handcuffs for one hour and 28 minutes before they were taken off at about 1:50am.
Boyd Gaming declined to comment on the incident when approached by the Las Vegas Review Journal on Tuesday.
Nine days later, NGCB agents visited Fremont Casino after Boyd Gaming self-reported the incident. The board began an investigation and looked at the staff who were involved. It determined that the security officers’ statements contradicted what could be observed on the surveillance footage. Security personnel were reportedly evasive as they answered questions during interrogations.
The NGCB filing maintains that the Fremont did not appear to realize the full scope of its employees’ mistakes. The incident, it says, led to the “wrongful detention of the patron, the wrongful taking of funds from an innocent patron or the sharing of incorrect information to the investigating officer of Metro and the board.”