Boyd Gaming in trouble for illegally detaining Fremont gambler

Boyd Gaming is facing heat in Las Vegas after security officers at its Las Vegas Fremont casino are said to have illegally detained a gambler there for 90 minutes in November of last year. The Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ) reports that the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has delivered a four-count complaint to the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) against the casino operator in relation to the incident, and that the NGC could consider issuing fines or disciplinary action against those involved. Boyd could learn its fate after the NGC meets tomorrow.

According to the details of the incident, which Boyd reported to the NGCB, two gamblers were enjoying a little slot time late on November 23 last year when one decided to cash out. The machine issued a ticket to collect her winnings, but reportedly still had credit on the machine. As she walked away, the second gambler was said to have taken over the machine and played with those credits, leading the first to seek help from casino security. 

Here is where things get a little dicey. Security officers apparently approached the alleged thief, grabbing her from behind and slapping the handcuffs on her before calling local police. They then took her to a holding room for interrogation, where she remained for 90 minutes – even after Boyd determined that no wrongdoing had occurred. Surveillance footage exonerated her, and the drama should have ended there.

However, according to the NGCB complaint, Boyd’s security personnel were out of line and “the manner in which the security officers handled the arrest of (the patron) was unreasonable given the circumstances.” It adds, “Under the circumstances, there was no need to detain the patron or subject her to the treatment given to her and the threats to try and force a confession out of her. The matter could have been resolved without even speaking to her, let alone detaining her for 90 minutes.”

The NGCB began its investigation into the incident shortly after it occurred because of Boyd’s decision to step up and report what had happened. The board determined, however, that the security officers provided information that didn’t match what was seen in the surveillance footage and could have tried to cover up the incident by providing “evasive” answers to NGCB investigators. As a result, the NGCB determined that its investigation “revealed that Fremont did not seem to realize the full scope of the mistakes made by its employees that resulted in 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.”

The NGC will determine what type of punishment, if any, should be given. It has the authority to suspend or revoke Boyd’s license for the Fremont; however, if it wasn’t willing to do that with the Wynn Resorts/Steve Wynn debacle, it’s unlikely to go to that extreme now.