Another casino, another lawsuit related to misconduct tied to sex. This one doesn’t involve a high-ranking official getting too frisky with the hired help or an employee being let go because she ratted on her boss for his extracurricular activities in the workplace. Instead, it involves a former Wildwood Casino employee who says that she was fired because she reported a customer for sexual assault.
Great American Gaming-owned Wildwood is located in Cripple Creek, Colorado. The company is being sued because it didn’t do enough to protect its staff from sexual harassment and because it fired the unidentified employee after she called police on a casino regular for his wandering hands. The call to the cops was made as a last-ditch effort after no one in the casino’s upper ranks would take action.
The way the story is told, “Scary Larry,” also known as Lawrence Earnhart, was seen often at the casino. He began to get a little too comfortable with the staff and, according to the lawsuit, launched a “campaign of unwanted advances and inappropriate touching for months.” Complaints to executives from various staff members and managers went unanswered; when the aggressive behavior reached its tipping point, after no support from Wildwood brass, the employee took matters into her own hands.
This all went down in 2017 and Scary Larry ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of harassment in March of last year. However, the employee felt the wrath of the bosses and was “singled out, isolated, unnecessarily scrutinized, blamed for systematic problems by the casino, and set up for failure, so that she would be forced out of her employment.”
The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, but the case will most likely never make it to court. Chances are, some deal will be reached that will let the casino put the incident behind it and, perhaps, realize that the customer isn’t always right.
As long as there have been casinos, there have been incidents of patrons letting themselves become a little too friendly with the staff. Some say it goes with the territory and most casino executives would most likely prefer that the status quo remain. However, the times are changing and they don’t have a choice but to change with them, or face embarrassing lawsuits, million-dollar payouts and loss of customers.