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Poker player indicted in connection with Las Vegas casino threats

Updated August 29, 2019 - 8:43 pm

A man who exposed himself during the World Series of Poker Main Event this summer was indicted Thursday on a terrorism charge in connection with threats posted on social media against a Strip casino.

Chief District Judge Linda Bell ordered 45-year-old Kenneth Strauss held on $150,000 bail for one count of making threats or conveying false information concerning an act of terrorism.

Prosecutors said that in social media posts Strauss threatened to destroy The Venetian. A spokesman for the resort could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

The judge called the allegations against Strauss “extraordinarily concerning.”

When he was arrested July 27, Strauss mumbled to himself “kill them all,” according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Pete Thunell.

Earlier that day, Strauss tweeted: “Shootings are taking place all over Las Vegas. Please leave me alone @VenetianVegas I have no place to go currently. And all Casinos that have me banned will be destroyed effective immediately. And @Rio, get my belongings together immediately when @POTUS declares safe I’m going.”

The prosecutor compared Strauss’ behavior and threats to that of the Route 91 Harvest festival gunman, who killed 58 people in October 2017 before turning a gun on himself.

“The state has concerns when you look inside the profile being similar to the October 1 profile,” Thunell said.

The prosecutor called Strauss, who has ties to Pittsburgh, a danger to the community and a flight risk.

According to various media reports, Strauss exposed his genitalia during the World Series of Poker’s $10,000 buy-in Main Event, which drew more than 8,500 players earlier in July. He was disqualified from the tournament.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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