FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 27th, 2010

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

Additionally, Board fines slot machine manufacturer for late application

HARRISBURG:  A $16,000 fine was levied today by the Commonwealth’s gaming oversight agency on a western Pennsylvania casino operator for violations dealing with underage gambling.

The fine was part of a consent agreement between the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and Holdings Acquisition Co. L.P., operator of the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. The civil penalties, unanimously approved by the Board at its public meeting in Harrisburg, were for incidents that occurred at Rivers Casino in October and December of 2009. 

Under the consent agreement, Rivers Casino agreed to pay a civil fine of $16,000 for two incidents. The first occurred on October 14, 2009 when a 15-year-old female was able to gain entry to the gaming floor and to place wagers at a slot machine for approximately 17 minutes.  The second was for an instance on December 13, 2009 when a 14-year-old male was able to gain entry to the gaming floor and to place wagers at a slot machine for approximately 4 minutes. 

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.

During the past two years, the Gaming Control Board has levied fines statewide on eight occasions for violations of underage gambling or minors on the gaming floor totaling $232,500.

In other business, the Board approved a consent agreement that assesses Paltronics, Inc., an Illinois-based slot machine manufacturer, a fine of $4,600 for failing to file a timely renewal application for its manufacturer license.

Paltronics was granted a license on November 13, 2008 to manufacture slot machines for use in Pennsylvania casinos.  Under the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, a holder of a manufacturer license is required to apply for renewal six months prior to the expiration of its current license.  However, Paltronics did not file its renewal application until June 4, 2009, 23 days after the application due date of May 12, 2009.  The fine of $4,600 represents $200 per day for each day the application was late.

The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is Thursday February 11, 2010 in Hearing Room 1 in the North Office Building in Harrisburg.  The meeting is slated to begin at 10:00 a.m.

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.  Pennsylvania’s first new state agency in nearly 40 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry.  To date, with nine of a maximum fourteen casinos in operation, legalized gaming in the Commonwealth has created over 8,000 new living wage jobs, revenue that has provided property tax reduction in each of the past two years for all homeowners, and funds that have reinvigorated Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry.  A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.pgcb.state.pa.us.  At this web site, videos and information on the operation of the PGCB, problem gambling efforts and assistance, future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, and a link to request a speaker are among the many items available.

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Editor’s note:  On January 7th, Act 1 of 2010 was signed by Governor Rendell which allows Pennsylvania casinos to add table games.  In addition, the law immediately tightened restrictions for access to the gaming floor of casinos by making is unlawful for anyone "under the age of 21 to enter and remain in any area of the licensed facility where slots machines are operated or the play of table games is conducted".  Similarly, no one under the age of 21 can participate in the play of table games. While it has always been unlawful in Pennsylvania for persons under 21 years of age to operate or use slot machines, the Act previously placed the age restriction on entering the gaming floor of a licensed facility at 18.