The Bear Growls: Sam’s Town’s overbearing security guardJuly 14, 2003
Recently, I visited Sam’s Town’s sportsbook. As I was leaving the book, my cell phone rang. I am aware of the rule against cell phone use in sportsbooks, so I waited until I was well away from the book (or so I thought) before answering the phone.
While I was speaking on the phone, a security guard approached me, loudly informed me, “You can’t talk on the phone there, you’re in sight of the sportsbook,” and shoved me in the direction of the door. I was not loud, rude, or causing any problems. In no way did I provoke the guard; indeed, I hadn’t even noticed him until he shoved me. It was not a particularly hard shove, and I was not injured. But it was totally unnecessary. Had he simply informed me that he thought I was too close to the sportsbook, I’d have immediately complied with his instructions. He had no reason to believe I wouldn’t.
While I think that technically he committed the crime of battery, I did not pursue it, not wanting to incur the ire of Sam’s Town. But it really made me wonder about the training, or lack or training, that casino guards receive, for them to think that they have the right to physically touch a patron without any valid reason to do so. On the scale of incidents of abuse against patrons by casino security, this one is minor, but Sam’s Town still deserves a GROWL for the poor training they must give their guards, and the inappropriate, bullying behavior this particular guard displayed.