FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 23rd, 2012

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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

CONTACT

Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

$128,000 In Fines Levied Against Two Casinos By the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board For Violations

HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today levied fines against two casinos for allowing gambling by underage patrons.  One of these casinos was also fined for permitting individuals who are on the PGCB’s Self-Exclusion List to gain access to the casino floor and gamble.

The fines were the result of consent agreements between the PGCB’s Office of Enforcement Counsel and:

  • HSP Gaming, L.P., operator of SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia for both underage gambling violations and permitting self-excluded persons to gamble;  and,
  • Sands Bethworks Gaming, LLC, operator of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Northampton County, for underage gambling violations.

Two fines totaling $80,000 were levied against HSP Gaming, the largest a $70,000 fine for seven instances where underage individuals engaged in gaming. These seven incidents involved individuals ranging from the ages of 17 to 20, and occurred between February 2011 and March 2012.

The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act provides that it is unlawful for persons under 21 years of age to wager, play or attempt to play slot machines or table games,  nor enter and remain in any area of a licensed facility where slot machines are operated or the play of table games is conducted.

A second fine of $10,000 was approved by the Board for two separate incidents in November 2010 and March 2011 in which two individuals who had placed themselves on the PGCB’s Self-Exclusion List engaged in gambling.

The PGCB’s Self-Exclusion Program, established in late 2006, permits problem gamblers to ban themselves from gambling at Pennsylvania casinos for 1 year, 5 years or a lifetime.  While a person is on the Self-Exclusion List, gaming facilities in the Commonwealth must refuse wagers from and deny any gaming privileges to that person, and deny check cashing privileges, player club membership, complimentary goods and services, junket participation and other similar privileges and benefits.

To date, more than 3,800 individuals have requested to be excluded from Pennsylvania casinos.
This was the first time in which HSP Gaming has been fined by the Board for either underage gambling or self-exclusion violations.

In a separate action, a fine of $48,000 approved by the Board against Sands Bethworks for four instances where underage individuals engaged in gaming. These incidents involved individuals ranging from the ages of 18 to 20, and occurred between July 2011 and December 2011.

Since the renewal of their gaming license in April 2010, Sands Bethworks was fined on one other occasion for permitting underage gaming.  That was in June 2010 for six violations with the fines totaling $48,000.

The next meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 13, 2012 in the PGCB’s Public Hearing Room located on the second floor of Strawberry Square in Harrisburg.

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. The 11 casinos in operation all offer both slot machine and table game gambling, employ over 16,000 people, and collectively have generated more than $6.5 billion in tax and license fee revenue since the first casino opened in November 2006. A portion of that money has delivered property tax reduction in each of the past 5 years for all Pennsylvania homeowners; provided funding to the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry, fire companies, water/sewer projects, and the state’s General Fund; and, established a new stream of tax revenue to local governments for community projects.

A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board’s regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. At this website, visitors can watch Board meetings live or view videos of past meetings, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information.  You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.

# # #