PA Gaming Control Board Fines Casino $100,000 For Underage Gambling Violations
HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today fined the Mount Airy Resort Casino $100,000 for allowing underage patrons to access the gaming floor and play slot machines.
The fine was part of a consent agreement between the Board’s Office of Enforcement Counsel and casino operator Mount Airy #1, LLC. The civil penalties, unanimously approved by the Board at its public meeting in Harrisburg, were for six incidents that occurred at Mount Airy between July and November of 2009.
At the time of the incidents, the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act provided 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.
In addition to the underage violations, Mount Airy security staff failed to notify the Gaming Control Board of the violations in the first four instances listed below:
- July 15, 2009 – two incidents in which 18-year-old males gained access to the gaming floor and played slot machines;
- July 29, 2009 – an 18-year old male was able to enter the buffet restaurant unescorted and the gaming floor where he played slot machines;
- August 19, 2009 – a 17-year-old male attempted to obtain, but was denied, a Player’s Club Card then gained access to the gaming floor and played slot machines;
- September 10, 2009 – a 20-year-old female gained access to the gaming floor, then cashed a large bill at the main cashier’s cage and played slot machines;
- November 21, 2009 – a 20-year-old male gained access to the gaming floor and played slot machines while also gaining access to bars located within Mount Airy and being served alcohol.
In addition to the fine, Mount Airy purchased eight identification-scanning devices to assist in preventing occurrences of underage individuals gaining access to the gaming floor. The devices scan driver’s licenses and photographic identification to insure the documents are valid and the individuals seeking access to the gaming floor are the proper age.
During the past two years, the Gaming Control Board has levied fines statewide on nine occasions for violations of underage gambling or minors on the gaming floor totaling $332,500.
The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is Tuesday March 16, 2010 in the 2nd floor lecture hall of the Harrisburg campus of Temple University located in Strawberry Square in Harrisburg. The meeting is slated to begin at 9:30 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.