In the shimmering heart of Las Vegas, where fortunes are made and dreams are shattered with each spin of the wheel, an unexpected twist of fate has cast a shadow over the Gold Coast hotel-casino.
On October 28, 2021, a routine night of gaming became a nightmare for Dalease Brown, a local resident, who now finds herself at the center of a personal injury lawsuit against the Gold Coast casino operated by Boyd Gaming. The grievance alleges that Brown suffered severe injuries when a roulette ball struck her eye due to the dealer’s negligence.
In a lawsuit filed on September 25, 2023, in Clark County’s eighth judicial district court, Brown contends that the incident unfolded because the dealer rolled the roulette marble “in a negligent and unsafe speed/manner.” The consequences were far from trivial; the rogue marble “ricocheted from the roulette wheel and violently struck Plaintiff in her left eye at a high rate of speed, severely injuring Plaintiff,” as detailed in the complaint.
Dealer errors happen, but they serve as a reminder that even in the controlled chaos of a casino, human error can occasionally disrupt the flow of play. There are even some of them that can be called common:
- Dollying the Wrong Number: Dealers use a marker called a dolly to indicate winning numbers. Occasionally, a dealer might place the dolly on the wrong number. If noticed in time, the dolly is corrected, but if not, a camera check may be necessary.
- No Spin: If a dealer fails to spin the roulette ball properly, either by throwing it outside the wheel or using inadequate force, they announce a “no spin” and repeat the spin.
- Not Paying Outside Bets: Outside bets like black, odd numbers, and columns should be paid when they win. Sometimes, a dealer may forget to pay them, but they usually rectify the mistake when informed by the player.
- Not Paying an Inside Bet: When different color chips are on a winning number, dealers might forget to pay one of the colors. Players typically bring this to the dealer’s attention for prompt resolution.
- Clearing Inside Bets Incorrectly: Dealers must clear the layout carefully, ensuring all bets are accounted for. Mistakes in clearing may necessitate a camera check to verify winning bets.
- Miscounts: Calculating complex roulette payouts can be challenging under pressure. Inspectors often double-check significant payouts to ensure accuracy, correcting any dealer errors.
Unfortunately, Dalease Brown’s case is not common. In the aftermath of the incident, Dalease endured instant and excruciating eye pain, ultimately leading to permanent damage to her vision. Following the mishap, casino security personnel prepared an incident report promptly, and Brown sought immediate medical attention at a local hospital.
While rare, such incidents involving roulette balls in casinos are not unheard of. In the past, similar occurrences have surfaced, like the case of a Washington D.C. resident in 2015 who sued a casino after being struck in the eye by a roulette ball, and another incident involving a New Orleans resident in 2012. However, the outcomes of these cases varied significantly, underscoring the complexity of legal proceedings in such unusual situations.
As for Boyd Gaming, the operator of the Gold Coast casino, they have yet to respond to the allegations raised by Brown. The lawsuit seeks damages exceeding $15,000, encompassing not only the severe pain and medical expenses but also the permanent impairment that Brown now endures as a consequence of the roulette ball incident.