Second Vegas Lawsuit in ‘Rigged’ Game Case

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – Riviera Hotel and Casino fired a security guard merely because he had been hired by the man who told the Nevada Gaming Control Board that the Riviera had rigged a slot machine against customers, the former guard claims in court.
     Mark Whittington sued the Riviera Hotel and Casino for wrongful termination and negligence, in Clark County Court.
     It’s round two against the Riviera.
     In January it was sued by Douglas A. Poppa , the security director who reported to the Gaming Control Board that the casino had rigged a game.
     Poppa claimed in his lawsuit: “On October 22, 2011, plaintiff learned that senior VP of Gaming Operations, Noah Acres, had rigged the gambling game called ‘Money Blast’ to ensure that patrons could not ‘hit’ or win the jackpot for that game.
     “President and CEO Andy Choy and Vice President of Operations Bobby Ray Harris were informed the machine had been rigged and took no action.”
     Poppa sued only the Riviera and its corporate parent, as did Whittington.
     Poppa claimed the Riviera suspended him and told him not to complain about the suspension, but he did, and the casino fired him on Jan. 6, 2012.
     Whittington claims in the new lawsuit, that the Riviera fired him 18 days later, merely because Poppa had hired him.
     Whittington’s complaint states: “On Jan. 24, 2012, Whittington was terminated, being told that management had made the decision not to retain anyone on probation who had been hired by Poppa, and that he, Whittington, fell into this category.
     “Upon information and belief, other Roes had also been terminated by defendant both after and as a result of defendants having unlawfully terminated the employment of Poppa.”
     Whittington, an armed bike patrol security officer, was hired on Oct. 22, 2011, according to the complaint. He says in the lawsuit that his “performance was acceptable to defendants,” implying that being “on probation” was not a disciplinary status, but simply being a new hire.
     He seeks actual, statutory and punitive damages for tortious discharge and negligent training.
     He is represented by Bruce K. Snyder.

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