Accused New York-New York Casino Robber Wore Surgical Mask During Hold-up

Posted on: June 17, 2020, 08:35h. 

Last updated on: June 18, 2020, 11:08h.

William Clark, the alleged robber at last week’s heist at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, was wearing a facial mask when he reportedly stole several thousand dollars at the cashier’s cage in the Las Vegas venue, recent news reports reveal.

William Clark ( seen here in his Las Vegas Metro PD mug shot) is facing charges for last Thursday’s robbery at New York-New York casino in Las Vegas. (Image: LVMPD)

Last Thursday’s hold-up brings to light the recommended use of cotton or surgical masks at casinos. While such a precaution helps to prevent the transmission of coronavirus, experts also warn about the increased risk for crime.

When asked for comment, the Rev. Richard McGowan, a finance professor at Boston College who closely follows gambling trends, said, “Once again, COVID strikes.

Patrons need to wear a mask, but it certainly opens the possibility for robberies,” McGowan told “How much [also] could casino operators possibly hire [security staff] as protection, without making it seem like a low-grade prison?”

“The prevalence of masks in the casino environment poses issues,” agrees Anthony Cabot, Distinguished Fellow in Gaming Law at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law.

“A large part of casino security and game protection is the pervasive surveillance system,” Cabot explained to

In March, Washington state’s Little Creek Casino Resort security staff asked a husband and wife in their 70s to take off their protective face masks. It was an apparent effort to enforce security procedures in the Shelton tribal gaming property despite the threat of COVID-19.

Clark Has Rap Sheet

Following the New York-New York hold-up, William Clark, 41, of Las Vegas, was described as a “habitual criminal with a rap sheet dating back two decades,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, based on court records. For the recent heist, he was charged with burglary and robbery, both with a deadly weapon.

He allegedly walked up to the New York-New York cage and handed a note to the cashier, demanding “Give me the money,” the Review-Journal said. Initially, the teller “pushed the note back to the suspect and stated she could not read it,” police stated in an arrest report.

The two argued about the note and the suspect placed his right hand inside his hoodie pocket. The suspect stated, ‘Give me your money, no one gets shot,’” the arrest report adds.

The teller handed over more than $4,700 to the robber, police said. The robber then fled the area.

Based on video surveillance footage, Las Vegas police were able to link the crime to Clark, who was staying on MGM Grand’s 19th floor.

“During a search of the [suspect’s] hotel room I located the pants, t-shirt and surgical mask worn by Clark during the robbery,” police said in the arrest report.

Based on Las Vegas Justice Court and Clark County District Court records, it was also shown that Clark was convicted in 2008 on robbery, assault with deadly weapon, and discharging a weapon out of a motor vehicle counts, the Review-Journal said. Clark allegedly robbed several people at gunpoint in the garage of a Las Vegas home in 2006, the report adds.

Clark also had convictions in 1998 for assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a controlled substance, and forgery, the report said. Other convictions came in 2001 for attempted possession of a firearm, and in 2002 for possession of a stolen vehicle and discharging a firearm out of a vehicle, the report adds.

He was incarcerated in Nevada prisons. Details on his time spent in prison could not be immediately confirmed.

For the alleged New York-New York heist, Clark was released on bail, Nevada TV station KTNV reported. Initially, he was held at the Clark County Detention Center. Bail was set at $100,000, detention center records said.

The New York-New York robbery took place a week after the resort was one of several Las Vegas Strip properties that reopened on June 4.

New York-New York 2019 Encounter Leads to Kidnapping

In a separate incident, last July a 37-year-old man — described as a second-tier high roller — allegedly sexually assaulted and kidnapped a woman in Las Vegas who he had met a short time earlier in the New York-New York Hotel & Casino. Capri Harris — a one-time Minnesota resident — was arrested in connection with the crime. The outcome of the case could not be immediately determined.