Deadbeat Gambler Found Guilty of Murdering Casino Worker with One Punch at Eldorado Casino in Reno

Posted on: September 26, 2018, 02:30h. 

Last updated on: September 26, 2018, 01:13h.

A sore loser who punched a casino worker at the Eldorado Casino in downtown Reno, killing him, is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Frederick Borden
Frederick Borden lashed out at James Bryant following a losing bet at the Eldorado in 2016 and was found guilty of first-degree murder on Tuesday. He has a long criminal record dating back to 1995. (Image: Washoe County Sheriff’s Office)

On Tuesday, Frederick Borden, 65, was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Eldorado assistant shift manager James Bryant in September 2016. Borden faces the possibility of a life sentence without parole. He was also convicted of grand larceny for an unrelated theft from a casino valued at more than $2,000.

According to police reports, Borden had been playing blackjack at the Eldorado when he lost his bet and then his temper. As the dealer was dragging his chips, he grabbed some of them back and headed towards the exit.

Deadly Force

Bryant challenged Borden and attempted to stop him from leaving but was punched in the face and collapsed. Borden fled the casino and was picked by police the next day. Meanwhile, Bryant was taken to a hospital, where he died two days later of a torn right vertebral artery.

Borden was initially arrested for robbery, but was charged with open murder following Bryant’s death and the subsequent autopsy report by the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Prosecutors argued for first-degree murder, because Borden had stolen casino chips and used deadly force against Bryant in an attempt to flee with them.

Borden has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1995. He is due to be sentenced on November 21.

Dangerous Deals

Dealing with unhappy gamblers is an occupational hazard for workers on the casino floor — but only very occasionally a bad run of luck escalate into serious violence. In July, a roulette dealer at London’s Empire Casino was left fighting for his life after a gambler plunged a blade five inches into his chest.

David Downes, 28, was airlifted to the hospital following the attack by 34-year-old Kien Nguyen. Doctors said he was lucky to be alive: the blade missed his heart by two millimeters, punctuating his diaphragm. Two pints of blood were drained from around his lungs.

His attacker was arrested at the scene and charged with causing grievous bodily harm. Downes was more fortunate than Bryant, and is expected to make a full recovery.