Off-Strip Casino Sues F1 Over Las Vegas Grand Prix


The owners of Ellis Island Casino are suing F1 for monetary damages it claims to have suffered at the hands of last year’s inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix.

nevada independent
The grandstands Ellis Island erected in front of its property for Las Vegas Grand Prix viewing. (Image: Nevada Independent)

The suit — filed last month but first reported on Friday by the Las Vegas Review-Journal — seeks more than $50,000 in compensation and also names Clark County and the State of Nevada as defendants.

Ellis Island claims that the race, and the six months of setup and teardown on either side of it, impeded both employees and customers from accessing its property, which is located on Koval Lane right next door to F1’s now-permanent, $500 million paddock building.

The night before the first practice round, according to the lawsuit, “plaintiffs’ graveyard shift team was informed by F1 or its agents that no one [was] allowed to come or go” for three hours.

The lawsuit also faults the county for categorizing the race as a special event without requiring F1 to file for a special use permit, and faults F1 for promoting this year’s race before the county held a debriefing on the first one.

Ellis Island was a Grand Prix sponsor that erected a 1,000-seat grandstand in its parking lot for viewing the race — reportedly paying a handsome but undisclosed sum for the right to do so and charging $1,500 per three-day pass.

“We saw the value of Formula One and having the facility right next door, we knew we wanted to find a way to get involved,” Ellis Island VP of Development Christina Ellis told the Nevada Independent last September. “We got into conversations pretty early on how we could be good neighbors.”

Not the First

This is the second lawsuit against F1 over the race. Last November, a group of 35,000 fans filed a class action suit last November for being cleared out of a grandstand because of a delayed practice round they paid hundreds of dollars each to view.

The outcome of that lawsuit was never reported.

In February, more than a dozen businesses near the circuit threatened to sue F1 for the $30 million they claim to have lost when race preparations cut them off from their normal customer base.

No lawsuit has yet been filed on their behalf. However, six of the businesses filed a petition calling on the Clark County Commission to deny a special use permit to close the streets for this year’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place Nov. 21-23.


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