Self-exclusion Violation Leads To $20,000 Fine For PA Casino
HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today fined Washington Trotting Association, operator of The Meadows Racetrack and Casino, $20,000 for allowing self-excluded persons 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 the operator of the Washington County casino. The civil penalties, unanimously approved by the Board at its public meeting Wednesday in Harrisburg, were for two incidents that occurred at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino between November 2009 and January 2010.
The Self-Exclusion Program, which began in late 2006, assists problem gamblers who choose to ban themselves from gambling at Pennsylvania casinos. Once a person is placed on the Self-Exclusion List, gaming facilities in the Commonwealth must refuse wagers from, and deny gaming privileges to, a self-excluded person, including issuance of a player’s club membership.
If an individual on the Self-Exclusion List enters a Pennsylvania casino, they will be subject to arrest for trespass. In these cases, the individuals were escorted off the property by the Pennsylvania State Police and cited for criminal trespass.
The first incident occurred November 26, 2009 when a self-excluded individual gained access to the gaming floor, played slot machines and attempted to claim a jackpot of $1,254. The jackpot was not paid because the individual could not provide photo identification. Instead, the jackpot was held in safekeeping until the following day when the individual returned with proper identification to claim the jackpot and was found to be on the Self-Exclusion List.
The second incident occurred January 9, 2010 when a self-excluded individual gained access to the gaming floor and attempted to cash a check at the main cage. The incident was reported to both the PGCB’s Bureau of Casino Compliance and the Pennsylvania State Police, and after further investigation it was determined that the self-excluded individual had previously cashed three checks at The Meadows on December 14, 2009.
The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is Thursday, April 29, 2010 in the North Office Building, Hearing Room 1 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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