June’s latest casino-related crime headliners include a man critically shot at Sahara Las Vegas and a bomb threat at a Churchill Downs-owned Pennsylvania facility. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Violent incidents this past weekend
A shooting at a Las Vegas hotel-casino and a bomb threat at a Pennsylvania casino took center stage over the weekend as the US trend of casino-related crime continues.
Local news station Fox 5 Las Vegas took to Twitter on June 27 to report the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) as saying a man shot in a hotel room of the Sahara Las Vegas on Sunday is in critical condition:
Over in Pennsylvania, Presque Isle Downs & Casino had to be evacuated on Saturday after receiving a bomb threat. The Churchill Downs-owned facility tweeted updates as the situation unfolded.
Sunday shooting at the Sahara
According to Fox 5 LV, the LVMPD responded to hotel room 2221 of the Sahara Las Vegas at approximately 11:30am on Sunday. At the scene, police found a man with “a gunshot wound to the torso.” Emergency services transported the victim to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he remains “in life threatening condition.”
a suspect has yet to be identified
As of Sunday afternoon — according to Lieutenant Brian Boxler of the LVMPD — a suspect has yet to be identified.
The shooting comes despite the LVMPD making its presence felt in Las Vegas, both down on the streets and on social media. In a tweet on June 28, LVMPD captain for the Las Vegas Strip Dori Koren reported that “no illegal guns were recovered from the Strip last night & no major incidents”:
Koren’s regular tweets talking up the LVMPD’s successes on the Strip follow a spike in Las Vegas towards the end of 2020.
Evacuation of Pennsylvania facility
Gamblers at Presque Isle Downs & Casino on Saturday had to abandon their games following a bomb threat. According to Jennifer See, the facility’s director of marketing, the scare came in just before 10:00 pm.
law enforcement “deemed the threat unfounded”
Pennsylvania State Police proceeded to investigate the threat with a bomb squad and three K-9s, with See saying that law enforcement “deemed the threat unfounded.”
Presque Isle Downs & Casino posted a Twitter update on Sunday to say it had reopened for business and that police were investigating the incident:
The casino issued a statement thanking “law enforcement for their quick reaction and […] our team for making the experience safe for our guests and themselves.” The facility added that any guest who left “any monies […] at table games or in slot machines” at the time of the evacuation will be able to get their funds back.
Casino-related crime a US-wide trend
The incidents in Las Vegas and Pennslyvania continue a US-wide trend of casino-vicinity-related violence. Some of the headline-grabbing incidents this June include an attempted robbery in Sin City ending in a stabbing, and a man getting a 65-year jail term for beheading a Montana casino guest in 2017.
Last week, the suspect in a triple Oregon casino campground murder turned himself in after forcing a woman to drive him over 2,000 miles to Milwaukee.