Date: August 4, 2017
The State Journal, a newspaper based in West Virginia, reported on TELG client Michael Barrick's claim that he was illegally fired by Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races after raising concerns about an illegal sports-betting ring being run by casino employees on the casino's property.
Former pit manager files whistleblower suit against Hollywood Casino
A pit manager at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races says he was fired in April after telling his bosses about illegal sports betting being conducted on site, though a spokesman for the casino’s parent company called the allegations “erroneous and baseless.”
“We don’t plan to litigate his erroneous and baseless claims through the press,” said Eric Schippers, senior vice president of Public Affairs & Government Relations for PNGI. “We’ll be providing our formal response to the court according to its timetable.”
Michael Barrick, a Ranson resident, is suing PNGI Charles Town Gaming, Hollywood Casino along with William Florence, vice president of table gaming, claiming he was fired three months after he said he told Florence employees were taking illegal sports bets as well as operating betting pools on casino property during working hours.
The suit claims Barrick, hired in 2010 as a dealer, became aware of the alleged activities as long ago as 2013. The suit claims Barrick discussed his concerns with several of his superiors as well as West Virginia State Police, who “declined to investigate for lack of resources and because (they were) already investigating” another issue at the casino. He claims he also spoke with an investigator who worked for the West Virginia Lottery.
In January, Barrick said he relayed his suspicions to Florence and was told to take time off while an investigation was conducted. But, before higher-ups could launch an internal investigation, Barrick alleges Florence “told all of the participants in the gambling enterprise about the upcoming investigation” so evidence could be removed or destroyed before higher-ups could launch an investigation.