The Malice that Comes from Gambling Losses

Publisert January 31, 2021

Gambling comes with its risk and many know how to handle their frustration when they are down on their luck. However, some present the other end of the spectrum. When people need to vent in irrational ways to express their frustration of losing a hand or spending all the money they have on the odds, which aren’t in their favour. In early January a man allegedly killed a dog when reeling from a loss of $500. The dog belonged to the Las Vegas man’s girlfriend and his money was lost at a downtown Las Vegas casino called the Plaza Hotel & Casino.

Details of the Crime

Walter Stevenson, age 46, was arrested in early January on an animal cruelty charge, as reported by a local TV station. Stevenson initially went to Suncoast Hotel & Casino where he won approximately $500. According to reports, later that day he went to the Plaza and subsequently lost all of his money. His girlfriend, when questioned by the police, went on to say that Stevenson was in a bad mood and quite irritated for the rest of the day.

Stevenson’s girlfriend painted a picture of what happened that day and the shock of it all when she found her dog, named Star, dead when she returned. There were two dogs in the apartment and around 3 pm that afternoon, Stevenson was alone with the pets. A common occurrence, even though Star would sometimes growl and bark at Stevenson. The girlfriend left the apartment to accompany her grandson for some shopping at Walmart and then received a call from Stevenson at approximately 6 pm. On the phone, Stevenson told the woman that the dog, Star, has fallen ill. When she returned from her errand, she found her dog, Star, dead with blood around its jaw.

Suspect Paints a Different Picture

In Stevenson’s initial report to the police, he claimed that he argued with his girlfriend that afternoon. As a result, the girlfriend took his $500 winnings and he then left the apartment. When he left, the girlfriend and both dogs were present. He said that when he returned to the apartment, he found the dog dead, lying on the floor. Additionally, the suspect also suggested to police that the other dog in the apartment killed Star. However, the police report states that the injuries the dog suffered are not what is typically seen when dogs fight each other.
Stevenson’s girlfriend called him out as a liar and disputed his claims. Stating that the dog was not showing any signs of an illness and was in perfect health that very morning. Furthermore, a Las Vegas Metro police officer stated that the injuries the dog suffered, were more closely related to and more evidence of a person dealing a blow to the dog’s head. Stevenson was charged with animal cruelty, specifically a single count of willfully or maliciously torturing, maiming, mutilating, or killing a dog, cat or animal. It was reported that Stevenson made bail and was released from custody.

Other Casino Related Crimes

In March 2020, near the Big Easy Casino in Hallandale Beach, Florida, a car was stolen with a dog inside it. According to news reports, the SUV, a Ford Escape, was parked close to the casino when it was stolen and later abandoned with a dog left inside to die. The car was found about a mile away from the Big Easy Casino, with the engine off and all the windows shut. The dog’s owner had apparently left the dog in the vehicle, hoping to return soon, as the engine was still running. The thief broke into the car and then drove off. Weather reports for the day the SUV was stolen showed that the temperature was well above 80°F or 27°C. The unfortunate dog’s name was Bootsie.

In another instance of malice related to casinos, at the Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel in Charenton, Louisiana. A player wearing a camouflage jacket caused about $500 worth of damage to one of the casino’s slot machines, in January 2019. Before fleeing in a car from the casino, the man punched the slot machine. It is assumed that the man may not have been happy with the results of his play on the particular slot machine.

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