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    Dec 12, 2013

    High-roller 'wrongly detained'

    A HIGH-ROLLER is suing Resorts World

    Sentosa (RWS), claiming its staff wrongly detained him and caused him injury after a squabble over a gambling chip.

    Australian Adesh Goel, 41, is seeking at least $250,000 in damages in what is believed to be the first reported suit of wrongful imprisonment against a private party in Singapore.

    RWS yesterday told The Straits Times that it is disputing Mr Goel's claims and defending the action.

    In court documents filed, the company countered that Mr Goel was managed properly and had allegedly been under the influence of alcohol at the time.

    A High Court pre-trial conference was held yesterday.

    Mr Goel, a frequent RWS casino patron who holds a Genting Rewards Gold Card, was playing pontoon in a restricted-access high-rollers section on April 22 last year. Four others, including a couple, were playing beside him at about 4.30am.

    A verbal exchange occurred between Mr Goel and a man who apparently had taken his chip by mistake. The latter allegedly challenged Mr Goel to a fight outside the casino.

    The man, who was not named in the plaintiff's papers, called RWS staff and Mr Goel agreed to discuss the matter in a private room. Mr Goel said that after a short conversation, he asked to see the gaming manager or shift manager but was allegedly refused. He also alleged that he was detained in the room for about an hour and his attempts to leave led to scuffles.

    He suffered injuries to his right arm and shoulder, for which he received medical treatment costing $15,000. He also had to undergo an operation on his shoulder.

    Mr Goel, who runs a venture-capital firm, called the police and was allowed to leave the room when they arrived. He was escorted out of the premises where he was issued a "persona non grata notice" by RWS. This meant that he would be refused entry despite having paid a $2,000 entry levy for a one-year membership.

    Mr Goel, represented by lawyer Abraham Vergis, is seeking compensation for assault and battery, false imprisonment, negligence, and loss of membership and use of his Genting Rewards Gold Card.

    RWS, defended by Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan,said in court documents filed that there was a heated exchange between Mr Goel and the couple, which led to vulgarities being hurled that disturbed other patrons. Security staff decided that both parties should leave the premises. The couple left and Mr Goel went to a room to cool off at the staff's request.

    RWSalleged that his conduct worsened in the room and staff had sought to calm him before he left. It added that it would show the extent of the effect alcohol had on Mr Goel in court.

    It accepted that he called the police and kept him pending their arrival as it was obliged to ensure he was not a risk to other patrons.

    RWS said its own staff plus two members of Sats Security Services had to restrain Mr Goel.

    It applied to court to include Sats as a third party in the case, to be indemnified for any liability involving its staff that the court may find. A spokesman for Sats, represented by lawyers from Tan Kok Quan Partnership, said it would defend the claim.