Judge Choo Han Teck of the High Court found the Resorts World Sentosa guilty of wrongful imprisonment and ruled in favor of Goel Adesh Kumar, a 43 year old who filed a private suit against the company based in Singapore. The judge ruled that the resort had detained Kumar illegally after an altercation took place between Kumar and another gambler back in 2012.
In the ruling, Judge Choo stated the limits of power a casino to detain guests based on the information of the Casino Control Act. The judge stated that the casino has not proven that they had any lawful basis to detain the gambler. Even though the casino operators in Singapore are required to take ‘all appropriate steps’ to make sure patrons are not acting in a drunk, disorderly or riotous manner. The section of the Act also does not confer a legal basis or power in which the casino has the right to detain patrons.
The wrongful imprisonment took place back in April of 2012 when Kumar was visiting the Resort World Sentosa and was gambling alongside another couple. Mr Tan Chee Kheng and Miss Loi You Phing were at the table and in the early morning hours, Kheng accidentally took a chip that was not his, actually belonging to Kumar. This spurred an altercation.
Based on camera footage alone, with no audio, it seems Kheng was agitated and he stood up by Kumar gesturing towards him. Kumar apparently was calling the man a cheat. The two men and Miss Phing were separated and the couple was taken to an area to sit on a sofa and enjoy refreshments while Kumar continued to gamble.
It was later on the dispute continued and the three were separated yet again with Kumar eventually taken to a side room where he could cool off. After about ten minutes, Kumar wanted to leave the room but was unable to do so as the four security personnel would not let him leave. He was held for over an hour and asked to leave repeatedly but was denied.
Kumar finally used his mobile phone to contact police and they arrived and finally escorted him off the premises. Back in 2013, Kumar sued the RWS for false imprisonment, loss of income, assault and battery and several other charges. In the end, the judge ruled in Kumar’s favor, awarding him $4,000 in damages for wrongful detention, $25,000 for pain and suffering, plus loss of amenities and $16,000 or pre-trail medical expenses and $925 for pre-trial transport expenses.