FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 17th, 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 Internal Controls Violation

Stems from case that led to arrest of three individuals for illegally manipulating slot machines

HARRISBURG, PA:  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today approved a consent agreement that levies a $48,900 fine on Washington Trotting Association, Inc, d/b/a The Meadows Racetrack and Casino, for a variety of regulatory shortcomings, including violating internal controls relating to the payout of false jackpots.

The agreement stemmed from incidents that occurred between June 22 and August 31, 2009 in which three patrons of The Meadows allegedly conspired to obtain false jackpots. The patrons were able, through a complex series of button presses and screen changes, to manipulate a slot machine so that it would create false payouts. Two of the patrons obtained payouts.

An investigation of the alleged scheme was triggered by the observations of an on-site Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board employee, leading to a referral to criminal authorities and the filing of charges by the Washington County District Attorney against all three men. It is alleged that the scheme resulted in the theft of more than $400,000.

Last month, the Gaming Control Board placed all three of the men indicted in the scheme on its Casino Exclusion List, banning them from entering The Meadows or any other licensed casino in Pennsylvania.

Today’s disciplinary action consists of three separate violations uncovered through the Board’s investigation of the matter and are a result of violations of approved Board Regulations and/or Board approved Accounting and Internal Controls for The Meadows:

  • $6,900 for improperly enabling a software feature without obtaining Board approval;
  • $30,000, or $2,000 per day, for the 15 gaming days in which The Meadows failed to investigate jackpot variances; and,
  • $12,000 for paying a jackpot to a patron other than the winning patron.

Following these incidents, The Meadows fully cooperated with both the Board and the Pennsylvania State Police Gaming Enforcement, and took steps to reduce the risk of reoccurrence.

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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