Rio Las Vegas Pulls Controversial Toy From Gift Shop Shelves

The Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino has pulled a controversial toy from its gift shop and other retail outlets after complaints from distraught guests.

The drastic action was taken after parents of children in town for a football tournament noted the resemblance of the toy to a norovirus suspected of causing 100 people to fall ill in recent days, many requiring hospitalization.

“This is an unfortunate coincidence,” said a spokesperson from Rio Las Vegas. “These toys are meant to be used in a playful context. We certainly don’t want something in our gift shop that reminds our guests of vomiting or explosive diarrhea.”

The spike ball toy comes in six colors, and is advertised as “the exact opposite of viral gastroenteritis.”

The colorful, rubber spike ball which has been pulled from the Rio’s gift shop is found in many toy and novelty shops, and retails at Rio Las Vegas for $7.99, with an additional discount for customers who present their Total Rewards loyalty club card.

The cause of the outbreak remains uncertain, although Southern Nevada Health District officials say the symptoms are consistent with norovirus, an illness most often transmitted by food or water.

Read more about the recent norovirus outbreak, with additional information here, and an official statement from Rio Las Vegas here.

The manufacturer of the spike ball toy declined comment.