When one blackjack dealer stabs another on the floor of the Bellagio Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, people are going to take notice. Brenda Stokes, a blackjack dealer for the casino, is being charged with a variety of offenses after allegedly slashing another blackjack dealer's face during a casino pit attack on Saturday. The blackjack dealer stabbed another dealer, whose name has not been released, with a weapon police are describing only as "an edged blade."
The blackjack dealer stabbed the other dealer around 9:47 p.m. around the Bellagio's blackjack pit no. 2, about 100 yards from the casino's conservatory across from The Baccarat Bar, where a house piano player was performing for Bellagio guests. And when the blackjack dealer stabbed another one it didn't occur in the cheap section of the Bellagio. The minimum bet inside blackjack pit no. 2 is $100, and player can expect to play anywhere between 50-200 games per hour based on the number of players at the table. So it's no surprise that when a blackjack dealer stabs another the casino gets the pit back in business as soon as the crime scene is "secured and restored", Yvette Monet, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts International, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Evidence from the crime scene will be used against Stokes when she goes to trial for several charges; burglary; battery with a deadly weapon; battery with use of a deadly weapon with substantial bodily harm, and mayhem. Police still have no motive as to why the blackjack dealer stabbed another dealer on Saturday, and Bellagio officials aren't commenting on whether or not the two were working the floor during the attack. The victim was taken to the hospital within minutes of the attack by the Clark County Fire Department where she is receiving treatment for deep facial lacerations. Her condition is unknown.
A blackjack dealer stabbing another dealer is the kind of violence rarely seen inside a casino, where security personnel and vigilant surveillance cameras work tirelessly to keep the atmosphere as orderly as possible; however, it is the second incident of violence inside a Las Vegas casino within the past week.
On Dec. 14, Edward Brandt walked into the lobby of the Excalibur Hotel and Casino and fatally shot lobby concierge Jessica Kenny before turning the gun on himself. Unlike the incident where the blackjack dealer stabbed another one in the casino pit at the Bellagio, a motive for the Excalibur murder-suicide is known. Brandt allegedly had a previous romantic relationship with Kenny and had attempted to rekindle the affair, but his feelings were not reciprocated by Kenny. The recent spate of violence inside the casinos have Las Vegas law enforcement officials puzzled as these types of incidents are a rarity in the tightly controlled atmosphere of a Las Vegas casino.
"I gotta say, if you look at the people we serve, the tourists and the locals, events like these do happen on the streets in Las Vegas. But this latest sort of stuff? Inside casinos? Just off the Strip? This is rare," Officer Marcus Martin, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department, told the Review-Journal.