Downtown casino faces discipline, fines for detaining woman over false claim

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Fremont Hotel and Casino could face disciplinary action against its gaming license and a large fine after a Nov. 24, 2019, incident in which security officers detained a customer and accused her of stealing another player’s slot machine winnings.

Security officers failed to properly investigate claims by a patron who told them a woman had taken $202 in credits, gaming authorities say.

Security officers used “unreasonable force” to detain the woman and hold her for about 90 minutes. Eventually, when police were called to the scene, the woman told Metro officers, “You guys are not going to believe me whatever I say. Just take all the money out of my purse and let me go!”

She took cash from her purse and placed it on a bench before leaving. She was released and told she was not welcome to come back to the Fremont. The woman, who is not named in the complaint, reported the incident to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Records showed $202 in cash was given to the patron a few minutes after the woman’s release. A $202 ticket was cashed at 3:30 a.m. — about an hour and 40 minutes after the woman was thrown out.

The Nevada Gaming Commission is set to consider disciplinary action on Thursday.

The complaint indicates security grabbed the woman and handcuffed her without any conversation, and took her to a small alcove where she was questioned.

According to the complaint, surveillance video showed the patron cashed out and put the ticket into a pocket, and then tried to put bills into another machine. When the machine wouldn’t accept the bills, the patron went to find help.

The accused woman had been playing nearby and sat down to use the machine that the patron had cashed out of. The patron returned and confronted the woman, saying she had left credits in the machine. The woman said the patron was mistaken.

Surveillance showed clearly that the patron had cashed out and put the ticket into a pocket, but security didn’t thoroughly review evidence at the time,according to the complaint.

In addition to detaining the woman by force and failing to properly investigate the patron’s claims, Fremont staff gave police officers inaccurate information to support their claims. And when the casino reported the incident to gaming authorities nine days later, they failed to adequately report the facts.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford and the Nevada Gaming Board filed the four-count complaint against the Fremont on Sept. 16. Each count could carry a fine ranging from $25,000 to $250,000.

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