A gambler who was roughed up by security at Singapore casino Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) has won a partial victory in his quest for legal redress.
In April 2012, 43-year-old lawyer Adesh Kumar Goel had been gambling at the Genting Singapore-owned casino for about 12 hours when another patron at the same table mistakenly took one of Goel’s $50 casino chips.
A heated discussion ensued, prompting RWS security to intervene and separate the pair. Security staff, along with auxiliary police officers belonging to Sats Security Services, then escorted Goel to a private room to discuss the matter further.
Shortly after being led into the room, Goel tried to leave but was prevented from doing so by the security team. Goel alleged that security forcibly constrained his arms, fracturing his right shoulder in the process. Goel was allowed to leave around 45 minutes later after giving a statement to police, but was subsequently banned from the property for one year.
Goel, an Australian with permanent resident status in Singapore, had previously been awarded compensation from an Australian casino after a court determined the casino had irresponsibly dispensed alcohol to Goel. When the RWS case came to trial earlier this year, RWS attorney N Sreenivasan accused Goel of using casinos as “soft targets for compensation arising from his own conduct.”
On Thursday, Justice Choo Han Teck ruled that RWS had failed to prove it had “any lawful basis” to detain Goel, who hadn’t committed any crime and was never told why he’d been detained. Choo ordered RWS to pay Goel S$46k (US $32,700) in damages and medical expenses. RWS is responsible for 80% of this sum, while the Sats security firm was found liable for the other 20%.
However, Choo rejected Goel’s claim for S$407k to cover his alleged loss of earnings and exemplary damages. Goel had argued that the casino’s actions were an abuse of an individual’s civil rights at the hands of a “multibillion dollar government licensed corporation” but Choo said Goel’s misadventure was simply the result of RWS’ employees “poor judgment and the way events developed on the material day.”