Casino New Brunswick Employee Dies Following Workplace Assault

Written By C.J. Pierre on April 11, 2023
Casino New Brunswick

A celebration of life was held last week for a New Brunswick casino employee who died from injuries sustained after being assaulted on the job last month.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Major Crime Unit is investigating the death of 56-year-old Rodney Frenette. Members of Frenette’s family confirmed he died after being assaulted while working at Casino New Brunswick on March 4.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, which operates Casino New Brunswick, said the company is “devastated.” The tragic situation also brings about questions regarding casino safety.

Deadly assault investigation is ongoing

Corporal Hans Ouellette of the New Brunswick RCMP said members of the Codiac Regional RCMP responded to a report of an assault at Casino New Brunswick in the early morning on March 4. He said a 56-year-old man from Moncton was transported to a hospital with what were believed to be serious injuries. That man, later identified as Frenette, died from his wounds more than three weeks later.

A 50-year-old man from Riverview, NB, was arrested at the scene on the night of the alleged assault. However, he was later released pending a future court appearance. The suspect has not been identified. Authorities have not revealed any details regarding what may have led to the alleged assault.

Casino New Brunswick holds a celebration of life for Rodney Frenette

According to Rodney Frenette’s obituary, he had a long career in the gaming industry and was the food and beverages manager at Casino New Brunswick and oversaw two restaurants.

“He loved his job and he cherished his wife and daughter and in turn, he was loved by many who will miss him dearly,” read the obituary.

A celebration of Frenette’s life was held at the casino last Wednesday. A notice on the casino’s Facebook page says its buffet will be delayed and the Hub City Pub will be closed in the afternoon “to allow our team members to attend the celebration of life for one of our beloved team members.”

“Rodney was a dear colleague and friend to many in the Moncton community and we are devastated by his passing,” said Conan O’Brien, a Great Canadian Gaming Corporation spokesperson.

Frenette is survived by his wife and daughter.

Concerns over casino safety

With no exact details about what happened that night, there are a lot of questions surrounding casino safety. Are quests and employees safe, and what is being done to ensure that safety?

WorkSafeNB is an organization committed to promoting healthy and safe workplaces for New Brunswick’s workers and employers. The group conducted an inspection following the incident and confirmed occupational health and safety rules were being followed.

A spokesperson for WorksafeNB says because the death is a criminal matter. They also added that this is a tragic incident and their thoughts are with Frenette’s family, friends and co-workers.

WorkSafeBC recently released a report on workplace violence in that province. The data shows that workplace claims related to violence have increased by 25% over the past five years. The worker’s compensation insurer had 2,868 accepted workplace violence claims in 2022, compared to 2,292 in 2018. The goal of the study was to prompt discussions among health and safety leaders about how to plan for, prevent, and respond to incidents of workplace violence.

The report did not specify how many of these incidents occurred at a casino in British Columbia. However, there were 853 incidents in the province’s Tourism and Hospitality sector from 2013-2022.

WorkSafeNB oversees the implementation and application of New Brunswick’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. The organization’s priority is preventing workplace injuries and occupational diseases. However, they also provide comprehensive rehabilitation services and fair compensation benefits when these things happen. You can use this link to find resources for both workers and employers.

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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at Play Canada. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and is an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino and online gambling news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career, most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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