Casino Sues Las Vegas Formula 1 Race, Clark County

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Not everyone is happy about how the Las Vegas Grand Prix Formula 1 race turned out. A group of businesses has said they incurred major financial losses because of construction and road closures associated with the November race, and now one is taking race officials and Clark County to court.

Ellis Island casino, located just off the Strip east of the Horseshoe and Paris casinos, filed a lawsuit April 30 alleging that traffic congestion and other issues with the race negatively affects customers, vendors, and casino operations. This resulted in the casino spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars to employ their own flaggers” to help alleviate traffic congestion.

The casino reported that overall, the property lost $4 million because of the race. The lawsuit alleges that participating partner casinos were misled as to the extent that roads would be closed, noting that the project manager previously represented that “entrances/exits for Ellis Island will not be impacted during construction.”

The lawsuit argues that this turned out not to be the case, costing the property significant business. The lawsuit also argues that casinos and other businesses dealt with unexpected changes in race operations and infrastructure.

“F1′s announced construction schedule, inclusive of paving and constructing the [temporary] Flamingo Bridge, would continue to fluctuate with no advance notice to plaintiffs, with each construction event impeding and interfering with plaintiffs’ customers’ ingress and egress, as well as the ingress and egress of Plaintiffs’ vendors and other third parties it conducts business with, which caused disruption to those contracts and Plaintiffs’ business and business dealings,” lawsuit documents say.

“Between June and September 2023, F1 and its agents inconsistently timed their road paving schedules, leading to road closures on a daily basis with no notice to plaintiffs. Plaintiffs were forced to pay for road flaggers to work between 12 and 14 hours a day to minimize (if not prevent) the resulting traffic build-up from blocking entrances to Ellis Island.”

The lawsuit also criticized the county’s negotiation for the race and that property owners weren’t given enough public input and now face nine more years of the race in this environment.

“Ellis Island’s damages to date are already in the millions of dollars,” attorneys representing the property told FOX5. “And as you know, F1 is planning on holding its race every year for the next nine years, which will continue to cause Ellis Island significant economic losses in the future.”

While some reports indicated record profits during the race for a few marquee casino properties, others reported that that weekend spike was nowhere near enough to offset the many months of lost business leading up to the race, not to mention the traffic nightmare for casino employees trying to get to work each day. A recent poll from Emerson College reported that only 57% of locals surveyed viewed the race as a positive.

Officials with the race and Clark County haven’t commented on the lawsuit.