Las Vegas Sun

December 15, 2017

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Dealers: L.V. gunman Paddock would spend long hours playing tables at downtown casino

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Steve Marcus

Las Vegas Metro Police officer stands by at a staging area in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.

When one blackjack table dealer at the D Las Vegas first saw Stephen Paddock’s picture on television last week, she thought it was Paddock that had been shot — not the other way around.

Upon later finding out Paddock was responsible for the deaths of 58 attendees and the injuries of nearly 500 more at last Sunday’s Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, the dealer said was surprised that a man she knew to be calm yet reclusive was responsible for the largest mass shooting in modern United States history.

“He wasn’t the nicest guy, but he never came across as threatening,” said the dealer, who asked not to be identified. “Unpleasant in general, but he didn’t go out of his way to be rude or go after other people.”

“I never would have thought he was capable of something like this, not him,” she added.

The dealer was one of several to speak with the Sun about Paddock, who owned homes in Mesquite and Reno but spent his retirement years and the final weeks of life frequenting the tables and machines of downtown and Strip casinos.

An avid blackjack player, Paddock also played video poker, interviewed dealers said. His girlfriend, Marilou Danley, enjoyed playing video slots when the two came to the casino together.

Another female dealer at the D Las Vegas, who requested anonymity, said Paddock had been a regular at the casino for “many years,” gambling as many as four days a week and sometimes spending an entire afternoon shift between gaming tables and the upstairs video poker room.

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This undated photo provided by Eric Paddock shows his brother, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. On Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival killing dozens and wounding hundreds.

Despite betting up to $2,500 per hand on high-limit blackjack tables, Paddock was a poor tipper at first, she said. But he eventually came around when she gave him a hard time for “being cheap.”

“I told him, ‘Steve, it would be nice if you started tipping me,’” she said. “From there on, he always left a fair tip.”

Three other dealers at the D Las Vegas said they last remembered Paddock at the casino on Sept. 26, just five days before he opened fire from his 32nd floor hotel room onto the 22,000 attendees of the country music festival.

Reached Saturday, D Las Vegas owner Derek Stevens said he couldn’t comment, citing ongoing investigations into Paddock’s history in Las Vegas and his motive for the shooting.

“We are working with federal and local law enforcement agencies and are not permitted to comment at this time,” Stevens said.

This story has been revised to remove the name of a source who was quoted about Paddock. After publication, the woman acknowledged that she had identified herself by a name that was not hers.