$135,000 In Fines Levied By Gaming Control Board For Underage Patron Violations
HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today approved consent agreements for underage gambling violations by two casinos resulting in a total of $135,000 in fines.
At its public meeting today, the Board unanimously approved separate consent agreements negotiated by the Office of Enforcement Counsel with Holdings Acquisition, Co., L.P., operator of the Rivers Casino, and with Washington Trotting Association, Inc., operator of The Meadows Racetrack and Casino. The sanctions against the Rivers Casino were the result of seven violations, including one involving a minor, while The Meadows’s sanction was the result of three violations.
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 fine against the Rivers Casino is the second approved by the Board in connection with underage gaming violations at that facility. In January of 2010, the Board approved a consent agreement that levied a $16,000 fine for a single incident of underage gaming.
Under this agreement, the casino will pay a fine of $105,000, and continue its policies to provide training, guidance and reinforcement to their employees to minimize the opportunity for similar event to occur.
Details of the incidents are as follows:
- June 3, 2010 – a 19-year-old male accessed the gaming floor and wagered on slot machines for approximately one hour and 14 minutes, exited the casino, and then attempted to re-enter. He was cited by State Police for underage gaming.
- June 13, 2010 – a 20-year-old male accessed the gaming floor and wagered on slot machines for approximately five minutes, consumed alcoholic beverages, exited the casino and then attempted to re-enter. He was cited by State Police for underage gaming and for carrying a false identification.
- August 18, 2010 - a 20-year-old male accessed the gaming floor and wagered on table games and consumed alcoholic beverages.
- August 21, 2010 - a 19-year-old female accessed the gaming floor and wagered on slot machines for approximately 30 minutes.
- September 11, 2010 - a 19-year-old male accessed the gaming floor and wagered on slot machines for approximately 3 minutes.
- September 26, 2010 – an 18-year-old female accessed the gaming floor and wagered on slot machines for approximately 30 minutes, exited the casino and then attempted to re-enter. Additionally, the underage patron had been issued a Rivers Casino Player’s Card on February 15, 2010 and had used the card three times that month. She was cited by State Police for underage gaming and for carrying a false identification.
- January 1, 2011 – a 15-year-old male accessed the gaming floor with his mother and wagered on slot machines for approximately 1 hour. The boy was cited by State Police for underage gaming, and the Rivers issued lifetime bans to both he and his mother.
The fine for The Meadows was for $30,000 and is also the second by the Board for underage gaming violations. In December 2009, the western-Pennsylvania casino was fined $5,000 for a single underage gaming violation.
In addition to the fine, The Meadows instituted a 20-point Underage Gaming Action Plan designed to minimize the opportunity for similar occurrences in the future.
These latest incidents are as follows:
- June 25, 2010 - a 20-year-old male accessed the gaming floor for more than two hours, and wagered on slot machines and consumed alcoholic beverages. He was cited by State Police for underage gaming.
- July 24, 2010 – two children, ages 9 and 11, accessed the gaming floor with their mother. The three were on the gaming floor for only a matter of minutes, and the mother or children did not gamble before being approached by security.
- November 27, 2010 – a 3-year-old child accessed the gaming floor in the company of her stepmother. The two were on the gaming floor for only a matter of minutes, and the mother or children did not gamble before being approached by security.
The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is Thursday, February 24, 2011 at the North Office Building, Hearing Room 1 in Harrisburg. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. An agenda for that meeting will be posted on the Board’s web site, www.pgcb.state.pa.us, prior to the meeting.
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, more than 14,000 persons are employed by the 10 casinos in operation, property tax reduction has been provided to all eligible homeowners in each of the past three years, revenue from slot machine gaming has reinvigorated Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry while also providing a new stream of tax 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, visitors can view videos of Board meetings and on the operation of the PGCB, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information.
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