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Friday, December 8, 2023 | Back issues
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Vegas Casino Rigged Game, Security Man Says

LAS VEGAS (CN) - The Riviera Hotel and Casino rigged a game so players can't win the jackpot, and fired its security director for reporting it to the Gaming Control Board, the man claims in court.

Douglas A. Poppa sued the Riviera Hotel and Casino for wrongful firing and whistleblower retaliation, in Clark County Court.

Poppa claims the Riviera hired him as a security officer in 2003 and promoted him to director of security in 2006.

"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," the complaint states.

"President and CEO Andy Choy and Vice President of Operations Bobby Ray Harris were informed the machine had been rigged and took no action."

None of those men are named as defendants.

"Internally rigging a gambling machine to insure customers cannot win is illegal and prohibited," Poppa says.

He says he reported it to the Gaming Control Board on Nov. 2, 2011, and that Choy learned of it, as did Riviera's human resources department.

He was suspended indefinitely on Dec. 27, 2011, and "given a last and final warning in which he was told that he was subject to discipline by making negative remarks about the company to third parties," the complaint states. He says he also was ordered not to complain to human resources about retaliation.

Poppa says he "refused to follow his employer's directive to refrain from complaints to the Gaming Control Board or to human resources."

He was fired on Jan. 6, 2012.

Poppa seeks actual, general and statutory damages for tortious discharge, whistleblowing retaliation and negligent training.

He is represented by Sharon L. Nelson.

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