FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 28th, 2009

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
P.O. Box 69060
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9060

CONTACT

Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

PA Gaming Control Board Fines Casino For Underage Gambling Violations

HARRISBURG, PA:  A casino operator was fined $97,500 today by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for 15 separate violations dealing with underage gambling and access to the gaming floor by underage individuals.

The fines were approved under two consent agreements with Downs Racing, L.P., operators of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The civil penalties, unanimously approved by the Board at its public meeting in Harrisburg, were for incidents that occurred between August 2008 and March 2009. 

The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act provides that it is unlawful for persons under 21 years of age to operate or use slot machines and that individuals under 18 years of age may not enter the gaming floor of a licensed facility.

Under the first consent agreement, Downs Racing agreed to pay a civil fine of $49,500 for 11 incidents of individuals between 18 year of age and under 21 years of age that operated a slot machine, while the second consent agreement assessed a civil fine of $48,000 for 4 incidents where individuals under the age of 18 gained access to the gaming floor.

Also, as part of the consent agreements, Downs Racing agreed to revise its security staffing plan in order to prevent underage individuals from entering the gaming floor and assure that all entrances to the gaming floor are either adequately staffed or cordoned off at an annual cost of approximately $225,000 in labor.  In addition, they have purchased seven more identification scanning devices at a cost of approximately $7,700 to scan driver’s licenses and photographic identification and electronically record and store all pertinent information.

The eleven incidents associated with the first consent agreement deal with individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 years old who operated slot machines:

• On August 11, 2008, a 19 year old male gained entry to the gaming floor and was able to place a wager at a slot machine for a approximately 10 minutes.

•  On August 17, 2008, an 18 year old male attempted to enter the gaming floor but was turned away by a Security Officer.  Shortly thereafter the same individual entered the gaming floor at an unfixed security post and was able to play a slot machine for approximately one hour. Pennsylvania State Police took the individual into custody and issued a non-traffic citation for criminal trespass.

• On August 23, 2008 an 18 year old male entered the gaming floor through an unfixed security post and for approximately 15 minutes was able to play a slot machine.

•  On September 7, 2008, an 18 year old female attempted to enter the gaming floor but was turned away by a Security Officer. The individual then proceeded to walk the concourse and entered the gaming floor at an unfixed security post.  For approximately 45 minutes the individual was able to play a slot machine. Pennsylvania State Police took the individual into custody and issued a non-traffic citation for trespass.

• On September 11, 2008 a 19 year old female entered the gaming floor at an unfixed security post and was able to play a slot machine for approximately 10 minutes.

•  On February 15, 2009, a 20 year old male entered the gaming floor though an unfixed security post and for approximately 20 minutes the individual was able play a slot machine.

•  On March 7, 2009, a 20 year old female entered the gaming floor through an unfixed security post and for approximately 25 minutes was able to play a slot machine.

• On March 11, 2009, an 18 year old male and two other underage companions attempted to enter the gaming floor but were turned away by a Security Officer.  They then proceeded to enter the gaming floor through an unfixed security post.  For approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes the 18 year old was able to play a slot machine. Pennsylvania State Police took the individual into custody and issued a non-traffic citation for criminal trespass.

• On March 11, 2009, a 20 year old male and two other underage companions attempted to enter the gaming floor but were turned away by a Security Officer.  They then proceeded to enter the gaming floor through an unfixed security post and for approximately one hour and 20 minutes the 20 year old was able to play a slot machine.  Pennsylvania State Police took the individual into custody and issued a non-traffic citation for criminal trespass.

• On March 11, 2009, a 19 year old male and two other underage companions attempted to enter the gaming floor but were turned away by a Security Officer.  They then proceeded to enter the gaming floor through an unfixed security post and for approximately one hour and 20 minutes the 19 year old was able to play a slot machine.  Pennsylvania State Police took the individual into custody and issued a non-traffic citation for criminal trespass.

• On March 14, 2009, a 19 year old female entered the gaming floor through an unfixed security post and for approximately 10 minutes was able to play a slot machine.

The four incidents associated with the second consent agreement deal with individuals under the age of 18 years old who gained access to the gaming floor:

• On October 20, 2008, a 15 year old male, accompanied by his mother, entered the gaming floor through an unfixed security post and was on the gaming floor for approximately 10 minutes.

• On January 20, 2009, a 16 year old female entered the gaming floor though an unfixed security post.  The individual walked around the gaming floor for approximately 10 minutes before exiting the gaming floor.  Approximately 4 minutes later the individual reentered the gaming floor through an unfixed security post at which point a PGCB Casino Compliance Representative asked the individual for proof of identification.

• On January 20, 2009, a 17 year old male entered the gaming floor though an unfixed security post.  The individual walked around the gaming floor for approximately 10 minutes before exiting the gaming floor.  Approximately 4 minutes later the individual reentered the gaming floor through an unfixed security post at which point a PGCB Casino Compliance Representative asked the individual for proof of identification.

• On March 18, 2009, a 15 year old female accompanied by her mother entered the gaming floor through an unfixed security post and remained on the gaming floor for approximately 43 minutes.  The individual then exited and reentered the gaming floor two times in a ten minute period after which Security Officer approached the individual and asked for proof of identification.

Additional information about the PA Gaming Control Board is available at its web site. At that site, you can learn more about the Board’s role in the oversight of legalized slot machine gaming in the Commonwealth and about the state’s gaming casinos. In addition, visitors to the site can access information to assist those who may have a compulsive gambling problem, review transcripts of meetings and hearings, file complaints for investigation, and request a speaker for their organization.

The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at the State Museum Auditorium in Harrisburg.  The meeting is slated to begin at 10:00 a.m.

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