Crime

Rio Casino-Hotel Robbery Suspect Sought by Las Vegas Cops

Las Vegas Metro police recently released a description of a lone bandit who stole a bag of money last month from a worker at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, pictured above. The off-Strip property was the site of a robbery last month. Las Vegas police are seeking a suspect. (Image: Caesars Entertainment)

He was described as a Black or Hispanic bald man. He is 5-feet, 5-inches to 5-feet, 8-inches in height. He weighed between 160 and 190 pounds. On June 25, he wore jeans, a gray hoodie, and a pair of black shoes, KVVU, a local TV station, reported. He fled from the off-Strip hotel-casino after grabbing the loot at around 8 am.

Few details are available from authorities on the robbery. It was unclear how much money was in the bag.

It was also unclear if the employee was injured during the theft. Still unclear is where in the hotel-casino the robbery took place.

Casino.org reached out to the hotel for comment and additional information but did not hear back immediately.

Anyone with information on the case can contact Metro police at 702-828-3591. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 702-835-5555.

Prior Crimes at Rio

Poker pro Joe Sal said in 2019 that he was robbed at gunpoint after leaving a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event at the Rio. Another player, Geoff Hunter, said he also was robbed at the Rio at gunpoint in 2019.

The Rio casino has hosted the WSOP annually at the casino since 2005.

In 2020, federal authorities arrested a man for stealing more than $30,000 worth of casino chips from a pai gow table at the Rio’s gaming floor back in 2011. Two other men previously pleaded guilty to charges connected with that robbery.

The Rio opened in January 1990. It is located west of the Strip near Caesars Palace. The property was purchased nine years later by Harrah’s Entertainment  — which would later become Caesars Entertainment — for $888 million.  It will be rebranded in a partnership with Hyatt Hotels.

Penn & Teller have been the resort’s entertainment headliners for the past two decades.

Upgrade Planned for Hotel

Following last year’s outbreak of COVID-19, the Rio casino was shuttered for nine months. Also, in January Eric Birnbaum, CEO at Dreamscape Companies, denied rumors that a baseball stadium would be built at the Rio site, or that the hotel-casino would be demolished, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Dreamscape owns the resort and 22 acres of unused property at the location. The Rio is managed by Caesars Entertainment.

The pandemic slowed the Rio’s plans to upgrade, according to Birnbaum. He said he expects a “monster refresh” at the property in the next few years.

Ed Silverstein

Gaming Law, Tribal Gaming, Crime, Gaming Research----An award-winning journalist with credits ranging from the Associated Press to American Lawyer Media, Ed joined the Casino.org news team in 2019 with decades of legal reporting expertise under his belt. His past reporting and editing assignments include Cowles Business Media, Columbia University Press, the Connecticut Post, and Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc. Besides the law and its application to the gaming industry, Ed’s areas of expertise span business, courts, crime, politics, education, and state and local government. With an undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut (where he now lives), and master’s degrees from Harvard and Yale, Ed’s professional awards include recognition from the New England Press Association and New England AP News Executives. Email: ed.silverstein@casino.org

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  • Robber got $600 and nobody was injured. Like all Caesars properties, the Rio security dept is extremely understaffed.

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Ed Silverstein