Four Pennsylvania Casinos Receive Fines From the Gaming Control Board
HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today levied fines totaling $103,000 against four casino operators for various violations.
The fines were the result of Board approvals of consent agreements between the PGCB’s Office of Enforcement Counsel and:
· SugarHouse HSP Gaming, L.P, operator of the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, which was fined $48,000 for violations of the self-exclusion and involuntary exclusion programs;
· Washington Trotting Association, operator of The Meadows Casino in Washington County which was fined $40,000 for violations of the self-exclusion program;
· Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, operator of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County, which was fined $7,500 for an underage patron violation; and,
· Holdings Acquisition Co., L.P., operator of the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, which was fined $7,500 for permitting an unlicensed employee to work at the casino.
The fines imposed on SugarHouse HSP Gaming, L.P. were the result of two separate consent agreements. In the first, a $33,000 fine was imposed for permitting three individuals who had earlier placed themselves on the Board’s Self-Exclusion List, a tool offered to individuals who have a gambling problem to self-deny casino gaming privileges at Pennsylvania casinos, to gamble at the SugarHouse Casino. Per regulation, persons on the Self-Excluded List must be denied gaming and provided promotional incentives by the casino, and the individual can be charged with criminal trespass and have any winnings confiscated. The violations were:
- A self-excluded male was permitted to gamble at table games for nearly five hours;
- A self-excluded male was permitted to gamble in the poker room for approximately one-half hour;
- A self-excluded male was permitted to gamble at table games and slot machines for over one hour, and was issued a players card.
The second consent agreement with SugarHouse HSP Gaming, L.P. was for $15,000 and involved two incidents in which persons placed on the Board’s Involuntary Statewide Exclusion List. The list consists of career or professional offenders, cheats and other individuals whose presence in a licensed facility would be inimical to the interest of the Commonwealth or of licensed gaming. Under regulations, a casino operator has the responsibility to identify and immediately remove an excluded person from their facility and deny gaming privileges. As with those on the Self-Excluded List, individuals placed on this list by the Board can also face criminal trespass charges and have any winnings confiscated. The violations were:
- A Board-excluded male was permitted to gamble in the poker room approximately two and one-half hours;
- A Board-excluded male was permitted to gamble in the poker room for nearly two and one-half hours.
The fine against Washington Trotting Association was for $40,000 and was imposed for permitting two individuals who had earlier placed themselves on the Board’s Self-Exclusion List to gamble at The Meadows Casino, and allowed promotional materials to be distributed to numerous persons on the Self-Exclusion list. The violations were:
- A self-excluded male was permitted to access the casino floor on two separate occasions and gamble at table games;
- A self-excluded male was permitted to access the gaming floor and gamble on slot machines.
During its investigation of the individual matters, the PGCB’s Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement discovered that The Meadows sent promotional e-mails to 91 individuals through a contracted third-party vendor. Per regulation, a casino must assure that persons on the Self-Excluded List do not receive any promotional materials relating to gaming activities at its facility.
The fine against Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association for $7,500 was for an incident in which an 18-year-old male was permitted entry onto the casino floor for almost one hour and gambled at slot machines.
Finally, Holdings Acquisition Co., L.P. was fined $7,500 for allowing an individual to work as a table games dealer for 16 days even though the casino had been notified earlier that the individual’s application for renewal of his Gaming Employee Permit had been denied.
The next meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 25, 2016 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 and is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. There are 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos in operation, along with the two resort casinos. These facilities collectively employ over 17,000 people and annually generates more than $1.4 billion in tax revenue from slot machine and table games play. The largest portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvania homeowners with additional tax revenue going to the horse racing industry, economic development projects, fire companies, county fairs, water and sewer projects, the Commonwealth’s General Fund, and to local governments that host casinos.
Additional information about both the PGCB’s regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s casino gaming industry can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.