March 13th, 2013


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Levies $157,000 In Fines

HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today levied fines against four casino operators totaling $157,000 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, $68,000, was levied against Sands Bethworks Gaming, LLC, operator of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, for six separate incidences in which persons under the age of 21 gained access to the gaming floor and, in all but one case, also 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 at the Sands Casino occurred between August 2012 and November 2012:

  • A 20 year old male gained access using another person’s ID, gambled at both slot machines and table games, and consumed alcohol.
  • An off duty Sands Casino Security Officer escorted an underage female onto the gaming floor who utilized a fake ID. While the 19 year old did not gamble, she did consume alcoholic beverages while in the facility. The Security Officer was later terminated.
  • A 20 year old male gained access without having his ID checked, then gambled on slot machines and consumed alcohol.
  • A 20 year old male gained access to the casino floor without having his ID properly checked and gambled at slot machines.
  • A 20 year old male gained access using another person’s ID, gambled at both slot machines and table games, and consumed alcohol.
  • A 20 year old male gained access using another person’s ID, gambled at table games, and consumed alcohol.

This was the third time Sands Bethworks Gaming was fined by the Board for underage violations since its last license renewal. Previously the Board had fined Sands $48,000 in 2010 for six underage gaming violations and again in 2012 for four underage gaming violations also resulting in a fine of $48,000.

In a separate matter, the Board also today approved a consent agreement that resulted in a $7,500 fine against Sands Bethworks Gaming, LLC for conducting business with a Gaming Service Provider who appeared on the PGCB’s prohibited vendor list.

Two fines were also approved by the Board against Chester Downs and Marina, LLC, operator of Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack. The larger of the fines, $34,500, was the result of the casino’s failure to make operational and available to the public 18 slot machines within an agreed upon time frame. 

The second fine, $12,000, stemmed from allowing an underage patron to gamble at a blackjack table in August of 2012. The individual had gained access even though he was 19-years-old at the time. This was the third time Chester Downs and Marina was fined for permitting underage gaming since its last license renewal. The first was a $70,000 fine in October 2010 involving seven instances of underage gaming, and the second in June 2011 of $26,000 for a single violation.

Also today, Washington Trotting Association, Inc, operator of The Meadows Racetrack and Casino, was fined $30,000 by the Board stemming from failure by the Washington County casino to follow Board-approved internal controls as it related to its dealers collecting commission on its Craps game.

 Valley Forge Convention Center Partners, L.P., operator of the Valley Forge Casino Resort, was fined $5,000 today by the Board for allowing a male on the PGCB’s Self-Exclusion list to obtain a players club card and then gamble on 38 occasions at table games between April 2012 and October 2012. 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 is informed at the time when they agree to be placed on the list 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, more than 5,000 individuals have requested to be excluded from Pennsylvania casinos.

The next meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 3, 2013 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 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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