Illinois’ Rivers Casino Site of Belligerent Fight by Drunk Poker Player

Posted on: May 12, 2022, 01:28h. 

Last updated on: May 12, 2022, 04:51h.

A 52-year-old drunk gambler at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Ill. got was arrested over the weekend. Police claim he was drunk, shoved a security guard and uttered obscenities to the security staff.

Des Plaines police SUVs
Des Plaines police SUVs, pictured above. Police arrested a man after he allegedly shoved and swore at casino security guards in Illinois. (Image: Journal & Topics Media Group/Tom Wessell)

Cory Herlihy of Citrus Heights, Calif. was handcuffed and placed in a holding space at the casino. A short time later, he was turned over to Des Plaines police.

The incident started on Saturday morning. He had won an undisclosed amount of money at a poker table. But he was allegedly intoxicated, so casino security staff asked Herlihy to leave the property.

He said he would. But first, he wanted to cash in his chips at the casino. Security guards gave him the go-ahead. Herlihy initially began walking to the cashier’s area. Then, he decided he did not want to leave. That led him to swear at casino security guards, police said.

Guards repeated to Herlihy he needed to leave, but he walked back to the gaming floor instead. Then, Herlihy allegedly shoved one guard in the chest. A struggle ensued. Guards were able to handcuff Herlihy.

It was unclear if he ever got to cash in the chips. No one was seriously injured in the confrontation.

He was then taken to Des Plaines police headquarters and officers charged him with battery, according to Journal & Topics Media Group, located in Illinois. His case is to be turned over to state courts.

Children Left in Car

In an unrelated incident, young children were left alone in a car parked at Rivers Casino on Sunday while their father allegedly went into the sportsbook to gamble. He later was located and arrested.

The children, ages three and five, apparently were not injured. It was not immediately clear how long the kids were alone in the car. Casino security guards saw the two children in the car and then notified local cops.

The father, later identified as Esteban Meraz, 38, of Chicago, was found by authorities in the sportsbook. He was charged with two counts of endangering the life or health of a child, the Daily Herald, an Illinois newspaper. reported. His case was turned over to local courts for prosecution.

Casino Expands

Last year, the owners of Rivers Casino Des Plaines announced plans to increase the size of the suburban Chicago casino.

Churchill Downs Inc. revealed they were to invest $87 million for a 78,000-square-foot expansion. The two-story addition adds about 725 new gaming seats and makes Rivers the first casino in Illinois to reach the state limit of 2,000. The expanded casino floor opened in January.