|By Steve Green, Las Vegas
SunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 19, 2012--The Palms is suing a former casino host, claiming she misappropriated invaluable data including the names and contact information for hundreds of high-rollers and other gamblers.
The Flamingo Road property in Las Vegas filed suit Tuesday in Clark County District Court against Jessica Hemingway.
The suit says Hemingway was fired on July 9 after it was discovered she had allegedly emailed vast amounts of confidential company information to her personal Yahoo and Gmail accounts. The Palms is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction to require her to return the information and to not use, disclose or transfer any of the data and specifically not to provide it to competing casinos.
Hemingway couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
The suit says Palms executives learned last month that Hemingway, a casino host in the table games department since September 2011, was looking for another job. So a supervisor routinely had the IT department review her work email to see if she was taking or sending any confidential information to herself or others not employed by the Palms.
The IT department reported that on April 14, Hemingway had emailed from her Palms email address to a personal email address extensive amounts of Palms data from a system called the "Super Playmate" database, including:
--The "Palms' High Worth Customer List," containing data on 86 of the property's largest customers with $11.7 million in play history. This included their play records and credit amounts.
--A telemarketing list naming 419 more "high worth customers" with a combined credit line of more than $12 million.
--A February slot tournament list with information on 1,050 players.
--A list with information on 6,000 players who qualified for invitation to the Palms 2012 Super Bowl party.
--A list of 4,000-5,000 inactive players.
--A 2011 marketing document covering the property's entire special events and marketing campaign for out-of-town customers.
The Palms said this information wasn't readily available to Hemingway and that she had no authority or reason to possess it.
The suit says this information was transferred in violation of a confidentiality agreement Hemingway had signed when she was hired and that a few weeks after transferring it, she had emailed her resume to a marketing official at Wynn Las Vegas.
The suit says that when Hemingway was confronted about her allegedly misappropriating Palms' data, "she offered no legitimate or credible explanation for her activities."
For instance, a Palms security executive reported Hemingway had said she sent confidential information to herself as a backup in case there were problems with the Palms computers, and she allegedly stated that "the Palms had lazy hosts and if they were not going to do something with their players, she would."
In addition to Hemingway losing her job, the matter was referred to the state Gaming Control Board for investigation, the lawsuit says.
"The marketing strategies and player information Palms has developed and compiled over its almost 11 years of operating history provide it with a valuable competitive edge in the highly competitive casino industry," the Palms said in Tuesday's complaint. "Knowledge of players' preferences, wagering habits, frequency of play, seasonal playing patters, response to marketing as well as their personal and financial information is considered key to successful marketing."
"Upon information and belief, Hemingway has not only wrongfully misappropriated confidential information and trade secrets from the Palms but has misused such information for her own personal benefit and/or the benefit of third parties," the lawsuit charges.
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