Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Levies $65,000 In Fines
HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today levied fines against three casino operators totaling $65,000 for various violations.
All of the fines were the result of Board approvals of consent agreements between the PGCB’s Office of Enforcement Counsel and the casino license holders.
The largest of the fines, $45,000, was levied against Holdings Acquisition Company, LP, operator of the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, for four separate incidences in which persons under the age of 21 gained access to the gaming floor and gambled. 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.
The incidents occurred between January 2012 and May 2012:
- A 20 year old male gained access with an expired ID, gambled at both slot machines and table games, and consumed alcohol. After being confronted, he was permanently banned from the Rivers Casino, and he was charged by Pennsylvania State Police on three criminal accounts.
- Rivers Casino personnel failed to ask a 20 year old male for ID, who gained access to the casino and gambled on slot machines. After later being confronted, it was discovered that he was underage, was permanently banned from the Rivers Casino and charged by Pennsylvania State Police on one criminal count.
- A 19 year old male gained access on two separate occasions on the same evening by displaying an out-of-state license of another individual. He gambled on slot machines during those entries. He was, however, identified as underage after a third attempt to enter, was permanently banned from the Rivers Casino, and was charged by Pennsylvania State Police on three criminal accounts.
- A 20 year old female gained access to the casino floor by utilizing another person’s ID and gambled at slot machines and consumed alcohol. She was identified as underage after a second attempt to enter and was permanently banned from the Rivers Casino.
These were the first fines for the Rivers Casino for underage violations since gaining its license renewal in September 2011.
Holdings Acquisition was also fined $5,000 for allowing a female on the PGCB’s Self-Exclusion list to obtain a players club card and gamble on slot machines in December 2011. The Self-Excluded individual received a citation from the Pennsylvania State Police for summary criminal trespass.
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. The Self-Excluded individual also agrees that they could be charged with criminal trespass if they enter a Pennsylvania casino. 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, nearly 4,500 individuals have requested to be excluded from Pennsylvania casinos.
Two other casino operators were fined by the Board today, in these instances for conducting business with companies that were on the PGCB’s Prohibited Gaming Service Provider List. Mount Airy #1, LLC, operator of the Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County, and Sands Bethworks, LLC, operator of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Northampton County, each were fined $5,000 for doing business with software provider Vision Solutions, Inc. of California even though that firm was on the PGCB’s Prohibited Gaming Service Provider List.
Mount Airy #1, LLC was fined an additional $5,000 to doing business with another firm on the PGCB’s Prohibited Gaming Service Provider List, Maple Direct, Inc., a direct mailing and advertising service based in New Jersey.
Both Vision Solutions, Inc. and Maple Direct, Inc. were subsequently removed from the Prohibited Gaming Service Providers List after providing the PGCB with additional information that permitted each to be licensed to provide goods and services to Pennsylvania casinos.
The next meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, December 12, 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 30 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 generate an average of $4 million per day in tax revenue. A portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvania homeowners; provide funds to the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry, fire companies, a statewide water and sewer project grant program, and the state’s General Fund; and, established a new stream of tax revenue to local governments that host casinos 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.
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