VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - WFTV has learned a strip mall casino in Deltona where a patron was severely beaten could be linked to the Mafia.
Reporter Kathi Belich said one of the men arrested, Dominic Rizzolo, has family in Las Vegas that is allegedly involved in suspected mob activities.
Christopher Morrissey and Rizzolo, both managers at the Ez Play along Saxon Boulevard in Deltona, were charged in the case.
Investigators said the men shut off the surveillance cameras for three hours while they severely beat customer Ralph Altro.
According to police, Rizzolo claims Altro grabbed Morrissey's shirt and reached for something in his pocket. He told investigators he hit Altro, but he didn't know how many times.
Inside the casino, deputies said they found blood on the tables, chairs and on the counters. There was also a hammer on the ground and evidence that a sink was used in the brawl.
People at the establishment told WFTV they were surprised to hear about the attack.
"All these guys who work behind the counter, they're great. And I feel totally safe here," one customer said.
Altro, his face swollen and bruised, could hardly speak as WFTV's Blaine Tolison met with him at Halifax Medical Center.
In the meantime, WFTV has learned Rizzolo is the son of former Las Vegas strip club owner Rick Rizzolo, who was under federal investigation for possible mob ties.
Rick Rizzolo was convicted of organized crime violence and fraud at the club, where a Kansas man was left paralyzed after a brutal fight. Rizzolo was ordered to pay $10 million to the victim.
Tolison learned the family is well-known in Vegas.
Dominic Rizzolo was sentenced to probation in Las Vegas several years ago after stabbing a man he suspected of a $20,000 credit card theft. He completed the probation two years ago.
“I don't think it's a surprise that the Las Vegas mobs would be interested in what's going on here in Florida with this type of business,” said Rep. Scott Plakon.
Plakon tried unsuccessfully this year to outlaw Internet cafes or strip mall casinos and said he is not giving up.
“What's happened recently in Deltona is just the latest in a series of crimes around the state,” said Plakon.
Ez Play is owned by Dynamite Sweepstakes LLC. Over the past year, there have been more than 30 calls for service at the establishment. Those calls ranged from drug overdoses to burglaries.