Sands Casino Bethlehem Receives $48,000 Fine For Underage Patron Violations
HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today fined Sands Bethworks Gaming, LLC, operator of the Sands Resort Casino Bethlehem for permitting underage patrons to gain entrance to the gaming floor and either gamble on slot machines, consume alcohol, or both.
The $48,000 civil penalty was unanimously approved by the Board at its public meeting Thursday in Harrisburg as part of a consent agreement between the Board’s Office of Enforcement Counsel and the operator of the Northampton County casino. It is the first fine imposed on the Sands for any violation since its opening in May, 2009.
The six individual instances occurred between June 1, 2009 and January 23, 2010, with three of the patrons also receiving alcohol:
- June 1, 2009 - a 20-year-old patron was served alcohol, gained access to the gaming floor and placed wagers on slot machines for approximately 20 minutes;
- August 9, 2009 – a 19-year-old patron was served alcohol, gained access to the gaming floor and placed wagers on slot machines for approximately 2 minutes;
- November 26, 2009 – an 18-year-old patron consumed alcohol after gaining access to the gaming floor;
- November 30, 2009 – a 20-year-old patron gained access to the gaming floor on two separate occasions and placed wagers on slot machines for a total of 5 hours and 40 minutes. In this instance, the patron was cited by the Pennsylvania State Police for Defiant Trespass;
- December 11, 2009 - a 20-year-old patron gained access to the gaming floor and placed wagers on slot machines for approximately 50 minutes. In this instance, the patron was cited by the Pennsylvania State Police for Defiant Trespass;
- January 23, 2010 - an 18-year-old patron gained access to the gaming floor and placed wagers on slot machines for approximately 25 minutes. In this instance, the patron was cited by the Pennsylvania State Police for Defiant Trespass.
Sands Casino personnel self-reported each of these underage occurrences to the Gaming Control Board’s Bureau of Casino Compliance.
In addition to the penalty, the Sands agreed to provide training, guidance, and reinforcement to their employees in order to minimize the opportunity for similar incidents to occur in the future.
The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is Monday, June 21, 2010 in the PUC Hearing Room #1 located on the second floor of the Keystone Building in Harrisburg. The meeting is slated to begin at 1:00 p.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, funds that have reinvigorated Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry, and new revenue to local governments that has funded scores of community projects. 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, an interactive map of casino locations, and a link to request a speaker are among the many items available.
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