Casino Crime Roundup: Buffalo Casino Temporarily Shutters After $100K in Fire Damage

Posted on: May 1, 2023, 09:18h. 

Last updated on: May 2, 2023, 01:15h.

Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino was forced to close for several hours on Sunday after a fire at the New York State gaming property.

Fire crews respond to Buffalo, N.Y., casino
Fire crews respond to Buffalo, N.Y., casino. The gaming property closed for several hours. (Image: WGRZ)

The blaze started at about 7 a.m. in a second-floor storage area. Buffalo Fire Department firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, according to Buffalo TV station WGRZ.

Water used to extinguish the fire forced The casino was forced to close for about five hours due to water used to extinguish the fire. Damage to the property was estimated at $100K.

Fire officials didn’t release a cause for the blaze.

Hard Rock Casino Death Leads to Guilty Plea

A man pleaded guilty last week to a reduced charge in connection to the 2021 fatal stabbing of his girlfriend at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.

Frankie E. Lane, 61, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter. He was originally charged with murder and weapons offenses after he surrendered to authorities, according to Philadelphia TV station WTXF.

When Lane is sentenced on June 23, he will likely receive a 20-year term in New Jersey state prison. He will be eligible for parole after serving 17 years,, a regional news site, reported.

The victim, Sharon Whaley, 57, also of Philadelphia, was found deceased in a room at the hotel. She had been stabbed multiple times.

Caregiver Nabbed After Allegedly Leaving Woman in Casino

A caregiver was arrested on Saturday for allegedly leaving a nonverbal woman alone in Bangor, Maine’s Hollywood Casino, in March. Tammy Knowlton, 60, of Troy, Maine, was charged with endangering the welfare of a dependent person, according to Maine TV station WABI.

The victim was abandoned in the gaming property’s lobby. When police arrived, she appeared confused and was wandering in the building before being transported to a local hospital.

Using surveillance video, police were able to identify the vehicle that transported the woman to the casino. The woman was eventually returned to her residence.

Sioux Falls Man Displays Knife in Casino

On Friday, a man threatened people with a knife in a Sioux Falls, S.D., gaming property. He also threw a glass that shattered, police said.

The unnamed suspect additionally shouted at others in the complex during the noontime incident. Casino staff asked him to leave due to his unruly behavior. He refused before eventually walking out of the casino, according to South Dakota TV station KSFY.

On Saturday, he was charged with aggravated assault and intentional damage, according to Dakota News Now, a regional news site. There were no injuries in the incident. The gaming property wasn’t identified.

Valley Forge Casino Confrontation

A casino visitor was arrested on multiple counts on April 22 following a disturbance at Pennsylvania’s Valley Forge Casino.

Callahan Bright, 36, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., struggled with an officer at the gaming property. Bright was later found to be in possession of drugs, according to the Sanatoga Post, a regional news organization. When authorities attempted to subdue Bright, he allegedly threatened a state trooper and a security guard manager, the Post reported.

Bright was charged with drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and harassment, Pennsylvania State Police said. It’s unclear if anyone was injured during the struggle.

Clearwater River Casino Arrests for Meth, Fentanyl

Two suspects were arrested after they were seen allegedly trafficking suspected fentanyl and methamphetamine (meth) on April 20 at Idaho’s Clearwater River Casino.

Robert Kay, 35, and Fawnda Bolin, 41, were both charged for allegedly selling fentanyl, marijuana, and meth in the casino’s parking lot, according to regional news site Big Country News.

Police seized some 200 grams of suspected meth, 20 grams of marijuana, and more than 460 suspected fentanyl pills from a car linked to the suspects, the report added. Also in the car was a marijuana pipe, a meth pipe, and empty packages, police said.

Kay was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and possession of fentanyl with intent to deliver. His bail was set at $75K. Bolin was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance. His bail was set at $20K.

Kay and Bolin were booked at the Nez Perce County Jail, and their cases have been turned over to local prosecutors.